LITCHFIELD — A seasonally warm sunny day on the Litchfield green welcomed Connecticut’s new Governor, Ned Lamont and his wife Annie, as well as local elected officials, to the kickoff of the town’s 300-year anniversary celebration on Sunday, May 19.
The observances began at the former Meeting House overlooking the Green, now the First Congregational Church of Litchfield, with the Rev. Dr. Bradley Bergfalk giving excerpts of historic sermons, noting that the most famous minister, Rev. Lyman Beecher (1810-1826), also preached from the same pulpit. The Beecher monument on the Litchfield Green marks the site and recalls two of his well-known children — Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Representatives from all the local churches participated in the service, with a concluding benediction: “Lord, we are bold enough to believe that you will continue to offer your sustaining grace to us as a community of churches as we seek to be your living presence in this place called Litchfield, Connecticut.”
State Rep. David T. Wilson was honored to read the proclamation from Gov. Ned Lamont to the crowd, beginning with “In its first 100 years, the town was home to an astonishing number of trail blazers in various fields such as Ethan Allen of the Green Mountain Boys, Oliver Wolcott Senior and Junior, early political leaders of the nation, Elisha Sheldon and Benjamin Tallmadge who were prominent Lieutenants of George Washington, Tapping Reeve, the creator of the first American Law School, Sarah Pierce, founder of the country’s first female academy, and involuntary residents William Franklin and David Matthews, who were Revolutionary War prisoners for being the Royal Governor of New Jersey and Mayor of New York City, respectively.”
A special 300-year commemorative flag was raised beneath the American flag on the Green, and the ceremony concluded with the ringing of church bells.
The many upcoming events to celebrate the 300-year anniversary include:
On May 24, Haight-Brown Vineyard, 29 Chestnut Hill Road in Litchfield will host a Scavenger Hunt. The entry fee will be $25 and contacts are firstname.lastname@example.org and 860-567-4045.
On June 1, from 12 to 4 p.m. the Litchfield Historical Society will present the Great Litchfield Challenge — A Puzzle 300 Years in the Making. The fee is $50 and reservations can be made at www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org or 860-567-4501.
The Litchfield Aid of Connecticut Junior Republic will host an Open House and Garden Tour celebrating 300 years of Architecture on July 12 and 13.
The town of Litchfield will offer fireworks at the Litchfield High School baseball field on July 20.
A Revolutionary War Living History Day is scheduled to be held on the Litchfield town green from Sept. 6 through Sept. 8.
For more information visit https://bit.ly/2VArCMR.