An 1800s era courthouse in Litchfield is now in the hands of man 1,175 miles away in Missouri.
Seventy-nine-year-old retiree George Beckwith of Goodman, Missouri has inherited the historic Litchfield Courthouse after the state has decided to develop a brand-new 80 million-dollar courthouse in Torrington.
Beckwith inherited the property, which has been standing since 1888, from family in Litchfield who leased the property to the state of Connecticut in the 1800s with one condition.
Beckwith’s attorney Mark Rybak stated that “their ancestors leased the land on which this building now sits to the county of Litchfield for a courthouse, on the condition that it remain a courthouse but if it ever ceased to be used as a courthouse it would revert to their heirs.”
Rybak also stated that “all these years we knew local legend that this would happen but we never expected it would happen because there are very few properties like this in the state.”
Beckwith, however, said has no interest in keeping the courthouse and intends to sell it to the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust.
Cleve Fussenich of the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust said the courthouse is an important town landmark.
“Because it has become such an icon. Everyone in town relates to this building if it were to be changed dramatically I think that the town would lose a great deal,” says Fussenich.
The Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust had made an undisclosed offer that is under market value.
The sale of the property is still being finalized but the Litchfield Historical Preservation Trust are “welcoming any ideas of how the building should be used."
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