Large enough to serve you; small enough to know you!
Resting near the shores of beautiful Lake Ripley, Litchfield, Minnesota serves as the county seat for Meeker County. Located 60 miles west of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, Litchfield is among the largest of a series of “whistle-stop” towns that were built in the 1800s as the railway was expanding from Minneapolis. When the town was organized in 1858, it was originally called Ness, in honor of Ole Halvorson Ness who was one of the first Norwegian settlers in the area. In 1862, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Co. investors—the brothers Electus, Egbert and Edwin Litchfield—plotted a rail track through Ness on its way from Breckenridge to Minneapolis. In 1869, Ness Township residents petitioned to have Ness renamed Litchfield to honor those enterprising railway developers.
With a population today nearing 6,800, Litchfield’s small-town flavor is enhanced by community life that boasts a strong education system, fiscally responsible government, high-quality medical services, a strong faith community, and a wide variety of employment opportunities set in an area that offers many recreational opportunities. Visitors can take a walk around serene Lake Ripley, play on Litchfield’s 18-hole golf course, enjoy fine dining locations, and participate in one of many festivals and events throughout the year. Litchfield’s annual July “Watercade” festival is the city’s biggest celebration. Activities include a golf tournament, parade, Art in the Park exhibition, four-mile run, fishing contest, kiddie parade, fireworks display, Little Crow water-skiing show, and the popular Miss Litchfield queen coronation ceremony. Downtown Litchfield has been designated a Commercial Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places with more than 40 structures dating back to as early as 1882.