Though all of Litchfield  might be considered an open-air history museum, the peerless historical collection at the Litchfield Historical Society and Museum (7 South St., Litchfield, 860/567-4501, www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org , 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat. and 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Sun. mid-Apr.–Nov., $5 adults, $3 seniors and students, free for children under 14, and law students) is worth a stop to see the artifacts from the colonial, Federal, and Victorian periods. Among the items on display are period furniture, clothing, accessories, pewter, tavern signs, manuscripts… and the list goes on.
The Historical Society also gives tours of the Tapping Reeve House (82 South St., Litchfield, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat. and 1–5 p.m. Sun. mid-Apr.–Nov., $5 adults, $3 seniors and students, free for members, children under 14, and law students), a colonial home that once housed a law school run by future Supreme Court Justice Tapping Reeve at the turn of the 19th century. More than 1,000 students were educated there, including 130 future U.S. senators and congressmen, and such luminaries as Horace Man, Noah Webster, and John C. Calhoun.