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Litchfield County and Beyond

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Located in the northwest corner of Connecticut, Litchfield County represents scenic New England at its best, from rolling wooded hills, river valleys, small villages that retain the architectural values of the past, to the larger towns that grew into manufacturing centers spawned by the iron industry which was the earliest, non-agricultural, commercial enterprise in inland New England. Litchfield County iron was the raw material from which sprang Connecticut’s watchmakers, gunsmiths, machine tool industry and early foundries that provided armaments for the nation's first military ventures.

Created in 1751 from portions of Hartford and Fairfield Counties and named for Litchfield in England, Litchfield County was already a thriving region of small towns created by settlers who purchased shares in the new towns and set out to establish homesteads, build schools, churches, roads and govern themselves by the town meeting form of government – which still persists today. Perhaps it is because of this tradition of participatory government that there are no formal county seats and no county government in Connecticut. Local issues are decided by all the taxpayers and registered voters in open town meeting.

Most of Connecticut history, with the exception of its seafaring tradition, can still be experienced by touring the Northwest Corner: the old blast furnaces and mines; the well-tended farms that have been preserved; the dams that powered the mills that ground grain, cut lumber from logs and provided electricity for lighting our cities; and the Colonial and Victorian buildings that still define our village centers and crossroads.

Less than 100 miles from mid-town Manhattan, northwest Litchfield County has been, and still is, a sanctuary for those who seek refuge from their fast-paced lives.

Thoreau once wrote: “In wildness is the preservation of the world,” a thought that still has heads nodding in agreement in Litchfield County.

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