Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com
For Immediate Release

The oldest continuously running house tour on the East Coast and one of the oldest in the U.S. will celebrate its 60th year when the annual Open House Day Tour of homes in Litchfield, Connecticut takes place on July 14. Proceeds benefit Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR), an organization dedicated to helping troubled youths.

Five homes of historic and architectural interest in this beautiful New England town have been chosen to mark the tour's anniversary year. The homes span the centuries. The oldest, The John Pierce House, is a New England saltbox built in 1786.

The Deming House, dating to 1833, is located on Litchfield's North Street, known for its rows of fine Colonial homes. Another original small Colonial Revival-style house built in 1866 as The Dempsey-Blake House has been continually added to over the past 150 years, showing the changes in tastes over this span.

Impressive Greycote, an 1899 Victorian with a gambrel roof, is situated majestically on 2.5 acres. The original covered front porch welcomes visitors as they proceed through the front "coffin" Dutch door. The last home on tour, a small and charming 1941 cape, has an interesting history. Two of its previous owners were the creators of the "Mr. Ed" T.V. series.

The tour ticket also includes admission to the Litchfield History Museum and the Museum's restored Tapping Reeve House and Law School, recognized as the first institution of its kind in America. The Museum's current exhibition, Preserving Craftsmanship: Contemporary Litchfield County Furniture Makers, features the work of 15 Litchfield County furniture makers.

Litchfield's Oliver Wolcott Library and fine Colonial churches will also be open to visitors. Visitors can enjoy lunch at the Connecticut Junior Republic for $6 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Tours of the CJR campus will also be available, and a student art exhibit is planned.

Open House Day, conducted by the Litchfield Aid of CJR, an auxiliary volunteer organization, goes on rain or shine. Tickets will be available on the day of the tour at the Ticket Tent on the Litchfield Green for $30. Advance tickets may be obtained for $25.00; for information contact the CJR at (860) 567-9423. A benefit preview will be held on July 13 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM.

For information on additional summer house tours and other events and a free copy of UNWIND, a full-color, 112-page booklet detailing what to do and see, where to stay, shop and dine in the Litchfield Hills contact, the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (800) 663-1273 or or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.