Retracing our steps down North street toward the center, the next house of historical interest is the Lord house, built in 1785 by Oliver Boardman on Glebe Land. The east side of North street, from the corner of East street to the Lord house, was owned by the church and called Glebe Land.
The land on which the house was built was either leased by or sold to Boardman by the church authorities, and bought of him by Sylvester Spencer, Litchfield’s former real estate dealer. It was also owned by Samuel Beach, who sold it to George Lord, the brother of Augustus, who with his sister resided there until his death at the age of eighty-seven. His sister, Miss Lord, occupied the home until her death in the Spring of 1907 at the age of 80 years and 11 months, when the house descended to her nieces. The side doorstep, an immense block of stone, was brought from Salisbury, requiring twelve pair of oxen to draw it.
The house at 113 South Street in Litchfield was completed around 1773 for Ephraim Kirby (it is also known as the Reynolds Marvin-Ephraim Kirby House). A veteran of the Revolutionary War, Ephraim Kirby became an attorney and in 1789 compiled the first volume of state law reports in the country. In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson appointed Kirby as the first Superior Court Judge of the Mississippi Territory. Kirby traveled to Fort Stoddert, in what is now Alabama, and died a few months later. His grandson was Edmund Kirby Smith, the Confederate general. The Kirby House was completely transformed in the early twentieth century with numerous Colonial Revival alterations.
The First National Bank of Litchfield long occupied a historic 1816 building on North Street in Litchfield. In 1891, another supplementary building was constructed on nearby West Street. Until recently, it contained the bank’s Trust Division and Investment Management Services. In 2010, the First National Bank of Litchfield merged with Union Savings Bank, founded in 1866.
The Italian villa-style house at 44 South Street in Litchfield was built by George M. Woodruff in 1855. Like his father, George C. Woodruff (1805-1885), who lived next door at 58 South Street, George M. Woodruff was a lawyer and politician, holding various town and state offices.
The house at 58 South Street in Litchfield was built in 1829 by Elihu Harrison (1797-1855), who ran a general store in the center of town from 1825 to 1836. The house was later owned by George C. Woodruff, a lawyer and a U.S. Representative (1861-1863). His son, George M. Woodruff, built a house next door in 1855. His grandson, James P. Woodruff, later lived in the 1829 house.
This is Historic Buildings of Connecticut’s 1700th building post! Milton Hall in Milton in Litchfield was built in 1900 on site of a former store and Post Office that had burned in 1894. Events at the hall are organized by the Milton Public Hall Association.
As described in History of the town of Litchfield, Connecticut (1845), by George C. Woodruff:
The members of the Church of England in this town, associated together for public worship about the year 1746, and it appears from their records that the Episcopal Society “was organized according to law, on the 26th of October, A, D. 1784.” Their first Church was erected nearly opposite the carriage manufactory of Mr. William Lord, about one mile westerly from the Court House. Their Church in the village was completed in the year 1812.
As further related in Historic Litchfield, 1721-1907 (1907), by Alice T. Bulkeley:
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church was dedicated in 1851 and is the third edifice, the first being built in 1749 about a mile west of the courthouse. The present church had a spire above the tower which was blown down in a storm a few years ago.
When General Washington passed through Litchfield in the Revolutionary War, the soldiers, to evince their attachment to him, threw a shower of stones at the windows of the Episcopal Church. He reproved them, saying: “I am a Churchman, and wish not to see the church dishonored and desolated in this manner.”