Essential Architecture- New England

Litchfield

type

Town

location

Connecticut
 
  Jailhouse and Centergreen.
 
  Churchgreen and courthouse.
Litchfield is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The population was 8,316 at the 2000 census.

The borough of Bantam resides within the town. Two unincorporated villages, Northfield and Milton also reside inside the boundaries of Litchfield.

 Geography
Located southwest of Torrington, it also includes part of Bantam Lake. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 147.1 km² (56.8 mi²). 145.2 km² (56.1 mi²) of it is land and 1.9 km² (0.7 mi²) of it (1.27%) is water.

 Demographics
Historical population of
Litchfield [1] [2] [3]
1830 4,456
As of the census2 of 2000, there were 8,316 people, 3,310 households, and 2,303 families residing in the town. The population density was 57.3/km² (148.4/mi²). There were 3,629 housing units at an average density of 25.0/km² (64.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.99% White, 0.75% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population.

There were 3,310 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 3.6% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,418, and the median income for a family was $70,594. Males had a median income of $50,284 versus $31,787 for females. The per capita income for the town was $30,096. About 2.8% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005[2]
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage
Republican 2,044 90 2,134 33.59%
Democratic 1,384 67 1,451 22.84%
Unaffiliated 2,596 165 2,761 43.45%
Minor Parties 8 0 8 0.13%
Total 6,032 322 6,354 100%

 History
Founded in 1721 Litchfield was designated the county seat in 1751, and by the 1790s the town had become the leading commercial, social, cultural and legal center of Northwestern Connecticut. Its population grew from 1,366 in 1756 to 2,544 in 1774, and by 1810 Litchfield was the fourth largest settlement in the state with a population of 4,639.

Beginning in 1784, Litchfield lawyer, Tapping Reeve, systematized his law lectures for young students, creating the Litchfield Law School. Reeve was the first to develop a series of formal, regular lectures that insured that all students had access to the same body of knowledge.

Established in 1792, Sarah Pierce's Litchfield Female Academy was one of the first major educational institutions for women in the United States.

During its "Golden Age" (1784-1834) Litchfield had an unusual number of college educated inhabitants. In 1791 Samuel Miles Hopkins, a student at the Litchfield Law School, described Litchfield in his journal as a town of "hard, active, reading, thinking, intelligent men who may probably be set forth as a pattern of the finest community on earth."

Litchfield's fortunes declined during the later years of the nineteenth century. The town did not have the ample water supply and rail transportation necessary to establish industry and the village became a sleepy backwater. Rediscovered as a resort community in the late nineteenth century Litchfield became a popular spot for vacation, weekend and summer homes. The town embraced the Colonial Revival movement and by the early Century many of the homes began to sport the white paint and black shutters we see today.

Famous residents have included Ethan Allen[3], Andrew Adams, Henry Ward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uriel Holmes, Phineas Miner and Oliver Wolcott.

On the National Register of Historic Places
 Capt. William Bull Tavern — CT 202 (added July 30, 1983)
Henry B. Bissell House — 202 Maple St. (added October 7, 1990)
J. Howard Catlin House — 14 Knife Shop Rd. (added September 6, 1993)(Since demolished)
Litchfield Historic District — Roughly both sides of North and South Sts. between Gallows Lane and Prospect St. (added December 24, 1968)
Milton Historic District (added March 14, 1978)
Northfield Knife Company Site (added May 8, 1997)
Oliver Wolcott House — South St. (added December 11, 1971)
Rye House — 122-132 Old Mount Tom Rd. (added September 10, 2000)
Tapping Reeve House and Law School — South St. (added November 15, 1966)
Topsmead — 25 and 46 Chase Rd. (added December 19, 1993)
 
Founded in 1721 Litchfield was designated the county seat in 1751, and by the 1790's the town had become the leading commercial, social, cultural and legal center of Northwestern Connecticut. Its population grew from 1,366 in 1756 to 2,544 in 1774, and by 1810 Litchfield was the fourth largest settlement in the state with a population of 4,639.

Beginning in 1784, Litchfield lawyer, Tapping Reeve, systematized his law lectures for young students, creating the Litchfield Law School. Reeve was the first to develop a series of formal, regular lectures that insured that all students had access to the same body of knowledge. Established in 1792, Sarah Pierce's Litchfield Female Academy was one of the first major educational institutions for women in the United States. Over its forty-one year history the school enrolled more than 2,000 students, established a national reputation, and evolved a highly challenging academic curriculum.

During its "Golden Age" (1784-1834) Litchfield had an unusual number of college educated inhabitants. In 1791 Samuel Miles Hopkins, a student at the Litchfield Law School, described Litchfield in his journal as a town of "hard, active, reading, thinking, intelligent men who may probably be set forth as a pattern of the finest community on earth."

Litchfield's fortunes declined during the later years of the nineteenth century. The town did not have the ample water supply and rail transportation necessary to establish industry and the village became a sleepy backwater. Rediscovered as a resort community in the late nineteenth century Litchfield became a popular spot for vacation, weekend and summer homes. The town embraced the Colonial Revival movement and by the early Century many of the homes began to sport the white paint and black shutters we see today.

links

http://www.munic.state.ct.us/LITCHFIELD/litchfield.htm
www.essential-architecture.com