1) Magnificent Geography
Rolling hills and north-south running ridgetops offer picturesque pastoral scenes. Drive along many of Litchfield’s streets and you will pass vast open spaces of preserved farmland, often with cows or horses grazing in fields.
Bantam Lake, the largest natural lake in Connecticut, is located in Litchfield and Morris. Take a spin along North Shore Road for some of the best views of the water. Several public boat launches offer the opportunity for access to the lake for boating, swimming and fishing or imagine a roaring lakefront campfire at The Point Folly Campground
2) Inspirational History
One currently thinks of Litchfield as a small Colonial town but in the 18th and 19th centuries the town was a leading center in the state. By the1790’s the town had become the chief commercial, social, cultural and legal center of Northwestern Connecticut and by 1810 was the fourth largest settlement in the state with a population of 4,639.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, famed author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin was born here in a home on North Street. The dwelling is no longer here but her legacy lives on.
Ethan Allen, founder of the famed Revolutionary group, the Green Mountain Boys, was born in a home on Old South Road.
Sarah Pierce established the Litchfield Female Academy here, one of the first all-female schools in the United States. Harriet Beecher Stowe was one of her students.
Judge Tapping Reeve founded the first law school in the United States, the Litchfield Law School, in 1784 in a single-room cabin on the grounds of his South Street home. Two of his students went on to become Vice Presidents, including duelist Aaron Burr.
Oliver Wolcott was one of Connecticut’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence. It is said in 1776 while passing through New York City from Philadelphia, he observed the tearing down of a statue of King George III. The head of the statue was sent back to England but Wolcott took the body to Litchfield where it was melted down to produce 42,000 bullets used against the British in the Revolutionary War. Wolcott is buried in Litchfield in the East Cemetery.
3) Great Shopping and Dining
The Litchfield Green in the center of town anchors the best-known commercial section of Litchfield with a number of quaint shops, boutiques and restaurants along West and South Streets.
Two other commercial areas are located west of the center along Route 202, one about a half mile from the center and the other a mile further down the road in the Harris Plains area.
A number of fine restaurants are spread out from the Torrington line to Litchfield center to the up and coming small community of Bantam which is currently experiencing an exciting upscale business renaissance. Click HERE to see why Bantam is Booming.
Here’s the best way to see what Litchfield has to offer in the way of “Eat-Shop-Play-Stay“.
4) Pleasant Lifestyle*
There is much to do in Litchfield in terms of social, cultural and recreational activities. Here are just a few examples.
The Town of Litchfield Parks and Recreation Commission makes living in Litchfield a fun experience with no shortage of events.
The White Memorial Foundation is a 4,000 acre nature preserve offering miles of hiking trails, rivers for paddling and fishing and the WMF Conservation Center with its nature museum and focus on environmental education. The foundation’s Board Walk on White Woods Road provides an elevated pass way through the marshes surrounding Little Pond.For those who love the outdoors this is the preeminent Litchfield County paradise to commune with nature.
The Litchfield Community Field located on North Lake Street provides two tennis courts, a jogging track, three baseball fields and the extremely popular community Playscape. And of course, what would all of this be without a concession stand to satisfy the hunger that results from so much play.
The Litchfield Hills Road Race fired its starting canon, provided by the First Litchfield Artillery, for the first time in 1977. Since then the 7.1 mile road race has attracted world class runners, including Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit, and is one of the best known and most popular races in the country with well over 1,000 runners lined up at the starting line at 1 PM on the second Sunday in June.
Numerous art shops and galleries are scattered throughout the town.
The Litchfield Public Schools have received numerous awards and are a chief attraction to our town for families with school-aged children.
*SUGGESTION: There are many, many more interesting and exciting things to do in Litchfield. Please contact me for a free no-obligation copy of Unwind, the most complete printed publication available describing the many additional social, cultural and recreational things to do in the Northwest Corner of our state.
5) Powerful Community Spirit
A number of civic organizations offer opportunities for residents to serve the community, among them the Litchfield/Morris Rotary, Lions, Junior Women’s and Litchfield Garden clubs.
The Litchfield Area Business Association (LABA) unites local businesses around the goal of promoting local recreation, shopping, dining and other professional services.
We have a pleasant lifestyle in our lovely town and there is a strong preservation sentiment evidenced by tight zoning regulations, the Litchfield and Milton Historic Districts and an active citizenry committed to protecting what makes the town so special.
Change comes slowly to Litchfield, and that is a good thing. By not getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the rapidly changing world around us we maintain a way of life that individuals and families have enjoyed for centuries…and hopefully will do so for more to come.