|Town of Litchfield|
Unitas Sub Lege (Latin)
"Unity Under the Law"
|• Type||Selectman-town meeting|
|• First Selectman||Denise Raap (D)|
|• Selectmen||JodiAnn Tenney (D)|
Christine Harding (R)
Jonathan E. Torrant (R)
Jeffrey J. Zullo (D)
|• Total||56.8 sq mi (147.1 km2)|
|• Land||56.1 sq mi (145.3 km2)|
|• Water||0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)|
|Elevation||1,080 ft (329 m)|
|• Density||146/sq mi (56.4/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
06750 [Bantam], 06759 [Litchfield], 06778 [Northfield]
|GNIS feature ID||0213452|
Litchfield is a town in and former county seat of Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,192 at the 2020 census. The town is part of the Northwest Hills Planning Region. The boroughs of Bantam and Litchfield are located within the town. There are also three unincorporated villages: East Litchfield, Milton, and Northfield. Northfield, located in the southeastern corner of Litchfield, is home to a high percentage of the Litchfield population.
Originally called Bantam township, Litchfield incorporated in 1719. The town derives its name from Lichfield, in England.
In 1751 it became the county-seat of Litchfield county, and at the same time the borough of Litchfield (incorporated in 1879) was laid out. From 1776 to 1780 two depots for military stores and a workshop for the Continental army were maintained, and the leaden statue of George III., erected in Bowling Green (New York City), in 1770, and torn down by citizens on the 9th of July 1776, was cut up and taken to Litchfield, where, in the house of Oliver Wolcott it was melted into bullets for the American army by Wolcott's daughter and sister.
During the American Revolutionary War several prominent Loyalists were held prisoner in the town, including William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin, and David Mathews, Mayor of New York City.
In 1784, the first law school in the United States, the so-named Litchfield Law School, was established by judge and legal scholar Tapping Reeve. Prior to its establishment Reeve had accepted several legal apprentices since he had settled there in 1773, but saw such demand for his expertise that he formally opened the one-room school within a decade. During the school's fifty year history it would accept more than 1,100 students, including Aaron Burr, Jr., Horace Mann, and Levi Woodbury, the first justice of the US Supreme Court to attend law school.
Litchfield was also home to a pioneering institution of young women's education, the Litchfield Female Academy, founded in 1792 by Sarah Pierce.
Litchfield has a very rich history. The Litchfield Historical Society, located in the center of town, contains a wide variety of items with historical importance to the town.
Located southwest of Torrington, Litchfield also includes part of Bantam Lake. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 56.8 square miles (147.1 km2), of which, 56.1 square miles (145.2 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km2) of it (1.3%) is water.
Litchfield is about 95 mi (153 km) from Central Park in New York, about 50 mi (80 km) from the Hudson River Valley, and about 40 mi (64 km) from the nearest sea coast, on Long Island Sound.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,316 people, 3,310 households, and 2,303 families residing in the town. The population density was 148.4 inhabitants per square mile (57.3/km2). There were 3,629 housing units at an average density of 64.7 per square mile (25.0/km2). 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|
|Party||Active voters||Inactive voters||Total voters||Percentage|
The 1812 Litchfield County Jail, the town's oldest public building, is in Litchfield. While controlled by the Connecticut state government, the facility historically held inmates convicted of minor offenses. Governor of Connecticut Lowell P. Weicker Jr. ordered the facility closed for financial reasons in 1993. It was converted into the McAuliffe Manor, a substance abuse treatment center for women operated by Naugatuck Valley HELP Inc., but in 2009 the contract between Naugatuck Valley HELP Inc. and the state expired, leading to the closure of McAuliffe Manor.
U.S. Route 202 is the main east-west road connecting Bantam and Litchfield center to the city of Torrington and New Milford, Connecticut. Route 63 runs north-south through the town center. The Route 8 expressway runs along the town line with Harwinton. It can be accessed from the town center via Route 118. The town is also served by buses from the Northwestern Connecticut Transit District connecting to the city of Torrington. The Shepaug Valley Railroad opened a Litchfield terminal in 1872, but passenger service ended in 1930 and freight service in 1948.
Litchfield Public Schools operates public schools. Litchfield High School is the area high school. Students may also attend Wamogo Regional Six to study agriculture, located in Litchfield, or Oliver Wolcott Technical School, located in Torrington, Connecticut.
Litchfield Center School hosts children in grades K–3 with a Pre-K program available. Students then move on to Litchfield Intermediate School where they will remain through sixth grade. Students then finish their Litchfield Public School career at Litchfield High School.
Litchfield is also home to Forman School, a private boarding school for students in grades 9–12/PG with learning differences such as ADD/ADHD and dyslexia.
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