Litchfield started out being called Ness, a connection to Scandinavian immigrants who came here. It was re-named Litchfield to honor three brothers who were prominent in bringing the railroad to Litchfield. Now in the 21st century we may forget how important a railroad connection was -- it was truly the mark of whether one's town would live and prosper or would wither and die.
Litchfield is located in Meeker County. Meeker County is named for Bradley Meeker, who was an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1849 - 1853.
The walk started from a Casey's gas station and convenience store. This chain hosts many of the walks in Minnesota. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I'm always surprised when I walk into a place like this and ask for the "walk box" and the person at the counter knows exactly what I want. Looking at the registration pages, I found I was walker 42 for this route.
I turned right out the store and then turned right again going to Swift Avenue where I simply walked straight then for 12 blocks. I love this kind of route -- one doesn't have to think about turning here and there and trying to figure out exactly what the person who designed the route really means by statements such as "make a slight right" or "turn on 4th Street (no sign)."
The area had homes that appeared to be built in the mid-20th century.
I did find a water tower.
Then I saw a huge factory in front of me.
Further down I laughed at this wooden figure in someone's garden.
Soon I came to the end of the street and turned left walking by a picturesque pond. Having spent all summer really in Poland it still startles me that summer is over and I came back back to autumn in Minnesota.
The route directed me to start walking towards Lake Ripley. But before the map said to enter a garden through by the green poles. What a lovely surprise -- the Anderson Garden.
Then I wandered down to the Lake Ripley Beach Deck, as this was a checkpoint for this walk.
Now the route went back by the gardens and up Sibley Avenue, which is also Highway 22. The first puzzling and interesting thing I found was Rosemary Hall.
Soon I saw the county hospital.
GAR stands for the Grand Army of the Republic. This was a group of veterans from the American Civil War which banded together to continue friendship, honor fallen comrades, and provide support to widows of fallen comrades.
Nearby was the Trinity Episcopal Church, also listed on the historic register.