Throw a stone and you’ll probably hit a home that figured somehow into the early history of Connecticut , if not the country. In his many travels through Connecticut, General Washington once passed the night at Sheldon’s Tavern (73 North St.), a picturesque square house with a mansard roof. The home is now a private residence.
Also private is the oldest house in Litchfield , the Oliver Wolcott House (South St.), which was named after a Revolutionary War general, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and later state governor who was instrumental in supplying the troops during the war. Wolcott is famous for leading the effort to melt down a lead statue of King George III and turn it into bullets to use against the king’s own troops. The act took place on the back lawn of this five-bay Georgian house (look for the bullet molds on display at the historical society).
And yes, Washington slept here—passing through with Marquis de Lafayette in 1780 on their way to West Point, where Washington would learn of Benedict Arnold’s defection to the enemy.
There’s not much to see in downtown Torrington , but if you are in the neighborhood, pop into the Hotchkiss-Fyler House (192 Main St., Torrington, 860/482-8260, www.torringtonhistoricalsociety.org , noon–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., mid-Apr.–Oct., $5 adults, free for children under 12), home to the Torrington Historical Society, and a top-notch house museum in its own right. The 1900 turreted Queen Anne is filled with Victorian-era furniture and artwork.