Litchfield Old Town Hall // 1851

The town of Litchfield, New Hampshire is located at the southern section of the state across the Merrimack River from the town that carries its name. Land which is now known as Litchfield, was once populated by the Abenaki people. The New Hampshire Archaeological Society has located over 30 Native American sites along the shore of the Merrimack River in Litchfield, with artifacts several thousands of years old being uncovered. European influences started in the 1650’s with early records showing that Litchfield was then a part of Dunstable, Massachusetts. Both sides of the Merrimack River were granted in 1656, to William Brenton, colonial governor of Rhode Island. The name was changed to “Brenton’s Farm” in 1729. Chief Passaconaway of the Penacook lived in a Litchfield settlement at least part of the year around this era. In 1728, sixteen proprietors divided up the Brenton Farm Land. In 1749, the land was granted to another group of settlers and named “Litchfield” after George Henry Lee, Earl of Lichfield. The town has historically been comprised of farmland without a true town common or center. A small enclave of buildings did center in town, where the town hall was built. This building, the Old Town Hall of Litchfield, was built in 1851 from parts of an older meetinghouse, which was built across the road from where the building now stands. A shift in the course of the Merrimack River during the early 1800s forced the dismantling of the original Meeting House and a new structure to be built. It is a modest Greek Revival structure with corner pilasters, entablature, and gable end facing the street which reads as a pediment. It is very well maintained to this day as the home to the Litchfield Historical Society.

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