America's Pastimes:
Sports and Recreation in Litchfield

on view April 22 through November 26, 2017

Join us for our Annual Exhibit Opening on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, while you explore our galleries and preview the exhibits. Kindly R.S.V.P. by April 18 by calling the Historical Society at (860) 567-4501 or email

Swing a bat with the Tri-State Champion Cowboys. Race your way through the Litchfield Hills. Splash around in Bantam Lake. Ride a high wheel to the town green. Score a basket in the school gym. Play cricket with the students of the Law School.

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They promote health and wellness as well as leisure and relaxation. They teach us about competition, but also about working together. They help build teams and form lasting relationships. Above all else, they encourage us to move, to think, and to interact.

On April 22, 2017 the Litchfield Historical Society will open the second year of America’s Pastimes: Sports and Recreation in Litchfield. The exhibit highlights the role of sports and recreation in town from its founding to today, showcasing the stories and experiences of Litchfield residents, players, coaches, fans, and enthusiasts. To communicate the active nature of this history, the exhibit groups together sports, games, and leisure activities of both past and present based on the actions they entail, from swinging a tennis racket to playing a game of chess. The exhibit incorporates several hands-on interactives for visitors to enjoy.

To view the schedule of exhibit-related programming, see our calendar here.

Community Contributions

Envisioned from the beginning as an exhibit to highlight the stories of the Litchfield community, America’s Pastimes includes numerous photographs, objects, and memories submitted by residents of Bantam, East Litchfield, Litchfield, Milton, and Northfield.

Objects loaned for the exhibit include a megaphone used by the Litchfield Hills Rowing Club, an original snail-shaped mile marker from the Litchfield Hills Road Race, field hockey gear from the Marvelous Mothers team, a championship ball signed by the 1959 Litchfield High School boys basketball team, and a set of wooden golf clubs made by Tom Auchterlonie, a well-known Scottish craftsman also commissioned to make clubs for the Japanese royal family.

To read more about the sports, leisure activities, and organizations that are included in the exhibit, click here!

Exhibit Sponsors

Village Wine Cellar
R. Derwin Clothiers


Also on view:
Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy
Nils Hogner: Views of Litchfield
On display in the Siedel Gallery will be a selection of work by Nils Hogner, a painter of murals and portraits, a printmaker, and illustrator of children's books.  His career included art study in Denmark, living and working in the Southwest, and then settling primarily in New York City, and Litchfield, Connecticut.