Incorporated in 1740 the city of Torrington was named after a town located in Devonshire, England. You can find Torrington nestled in the Litchfield Hills and is a prime example of a town that exudes the traditional and notable New England charm.
Whether you are visiting Torrington or just passing by, there are a lot of options when it comes to dining, recreation, and shopping. The downtown area is famous and is considered a cultural hub because of different theatres, conservatories, and art galleries.
When it comes to outdoor recreation, Torrington has a variety of options that you can explore with many parks and outdoor spaces that offer hiking, biking, picnicking and fishing options. The town of Torrington also has a bustling business and commercial district that houses different businesses around town.
With a population of just over 35,000 people, Torrington is located in Litchfield County in the Northwest Hills region. This city is considered a core city of Greater Torrington which is considered as one of the largest micropolitan areas in the country.
History of Torrington, CT
Back in the day, the town of Torrington was an old mill town just like most cities along the coast of the Naugatuck River Valley. Ebenezer Lyman Jr. was the first settler of Torrington in 1735. What is known as Downtown Torrington now was previously known as Wolcottville which is a town named after the Wolcott family who resided in Connecticut.
The early settlers resided in the western hills of Naugatuck River where the first church, school, store, and tavern were first constructed. Years later, the eastern part of the river started developing because of the farming options in the area. Finally, in 1870, the town of Torrington was granted permission to organize and incorporate.
The fact that the town lies along the bank of the Naugatuck River made it a prime spot for milling and the rapids of the river helped power the industries that were developing back in the 19th century. Industrial growth was spearheaded when Frederick Wolcott established the first wool mill in 1813. This created a lot of jobs and created a high demand for services, goods, and housing for the workers.
The brass age was ushered in the town of Torrington by Erastus Hodges and Israel Coe who established the two brass mills located along the river. In 1849, the railroad was completed which helped connect Torrington with other towns and helped with its economic growth and development.
Real Estate in Torrington, CT
Currently, Torrington is trying to revitalize the downtown area to attract businesses and enhance the town’s cultural appeal. The different areas that are being renovated as planned are: Coe Memorial Park restoration, retail store expansion, increased accessibility, and renovated roads to decrease traffic congestion.
The most interesting thing about Torrington is its location. The eastern and western sides of the city are at the top of peaks while the downtown and central areas are along the river. This gives people who live on the eastern and western sides stunning views of the city lights because of its elevation.
The different neighborhoods that you can find in Torrington are:
- West Torrington
- Downtown Torrington
Most of the people who call Torrington home have occupations with a mix of blue- and white-collar jobs. The main jobs that they fill are sales positions, managerial and administrative. The annual household income comes in at around $130,000 for a family of four, which is typical for the State of Connecticut.
The median housing price is just under $200,000 and the typical property for sale is either a single-family dwelling or condominium. The typical size of homes in Torrington ranges from 2-4 bedrooms, with square footage ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet. This is the reason why a lot of families tend to gravitate to Torrington because it is cheaper and more affordable than some areas in Connecticut but the home prices do not sacrifice the space.
Things to do in Torrington, CT
With a population of just about 35,000 people, Torrington is considered small compared to other bustling cities in the state but don’t let this deter you from visiting. This town exudes the small-town idyllic charm that you can only find in New England and you have plenty of recreational activities that you can do.
Here are some of the things that you can do while in Torrington:
- Warner Theatre
Located on Torrington’s Main Street, the Warner Theatre is hard to miss because of its beauty. It is the epitome of Art Deco design and was built in the same location back in 1931. The popular movie producer, Warner Brother Studios opened this theatre as an extension of their popular movie theatre franchise.
The Art Deco design of the theatre is truly unique, historical, and classic. The Warner Theatre was designed by esteemed Art Deco designer Thomas W. Lamb. The theatre ceiling is a sight to behold and has a classic stenciled look and gold draperies wrap around the whole theatre which adds to its majestic appeal.
In the 80s, the Theatre stopped showing movies and was re-established as a performing arts space. In this theatre, you can watch Broadway plays, musicals, concerts, and dance performances.
- Pursue the Clues
This escape room is another thing that you should not miss when you are in town. You will be placed in teams and as a group, you have to figure out how to escape the room through different clues that are provided. You have to do all this within the allotted 60-minute timeframe. Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie, promote team building or just simply have fun with your families or friends.
- Burr Pond State Park
This 85-acre pond is a great way that you can explore nature and spend time with family and friends while being outdoors. It is quite mind-boggling, but the whole pond is man-made.
The pond’s rich history starts in the mid-19th century when it was created to support several sawmills and a tannery. Burr Pond also helped create the first condensed milk factory in the world who was established by Gail Borden who pioneered the process of condensed milk.
Nowadays, the park can be enjoyed by people of all ages and you can rent a boat and see for yourself almost 400 acres of woodland that is the site of history.
- Sunset Meadows Vineyards
This vineyard is located on the hillside which affords its visitors stunning views while enjoying a sip or two of their famous wine. With 40-acres of vineyards, you will have enough space to frolic around and learn about their winemaking process through the guided tours.
The tasting room on site is open from Thursdays to Mondays and you can enjoy their Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot, or Chardonnay. Besides tasting their delicious wine, they also offer events like chocolate pairing, food trucks, or live music.
- KidsPlay Museum
This is a local favorite of parents because the KidsPlay Museum encourages learning, interactive play, and exploratory opportunities for kids of all ages. There are numerous activities that your kids can enjoy. The different activities are catered to different ages so there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Your kids can enjoy the Bubbler and will give them a chance to see the world from inside a bubble. They can also try to build a 3d tower or construct different magnetic objects.
- John A. Minetto State Park
You can visit this state park all year round and discover different outdoor activities and sports that you can partake in depending on the weather or season. During summer, you can enjoy fishing and picnicking and during the winter season, you can do cross-country skiing or ice skating. The possibilities are endless.
- Torrington History Museum
Also located on Main Street, the town’s history museum is the best place to visit if you want to learn more about the town’s history up to the 21st century. The museum’s permanent exhibit will allow visitors to have a glimpse of what life was like when the town of Torrington was first incorporated.
- Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum
This property was built in 1898 by renowned architect William H. Allen for businessman and politician Orasmus Fyler. The house is located on 192 Main Street which also houses the Torrington History Museum. The Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum is open all year round for visitors but during Christmastime, the house comes alive with holiday decorations and lights.
The rooms in the house are intricately designed with woodwork and parquet floors. There is also a great collection of paintings and decorative art that you can see. This house is part of the three-building complex which is operated by the Torrington Historical Society. You will step back in time as you explore this house museum.
- Litchfield Distillery
The corn, wheat, and barley used by the litchfield distillery are sourced locally and are used to manufacture small-batch gin, vodka, and bourbon. They also make different whiskeys ranging from vanilla or cinnamon-infused to port cask finish whiskeys.
- Artwell Gallery and Community Arts Center
If there’s one thing that residents of Torrington take pride in, it’s the rich culture of their town and the fact that there are several museums and galleries in this small town is a testament to that. This venue is at the forefront of the town’s culture because it hosts changing art exhibits, poetry readings, and other performances throughout the year.
- Sunnybrook State Park
This state park which is located in the Eastern part of the Naugatuck River is a great spot to explore the outdoors. With no parking fee, you can enjoy picnicking in the area as well as exploring hiking and walking trails.
Restaurants in Torrington, CT
Regardless if you are looking for a quick bite or a fancy, sit-down fine dining restaurant, you will find a restaurant that piques your interest in Torrington. The food options are endless and encompass different cuisines from all over the United State and the world.
Here are some of the restaurants that you have to check out while in Torrington:
- Radwick’s Coffee and Sandwich
- Market Place Tavern
- The Village Restaurant
- West Street Grill
- Litchfield Saltwater Grille
- Bohemian Pizza
- Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar
- Arethusa al tavolo
Education in Torrington, CT
One of the benefits when it comes to small towns is that the school district can concentrate on a smaller population of students and can excel in elevating their educational aspirations. The schools in Torrington have this capability and are deemed as one of the best in the area.
Some of the schools in Torrington are:
- Torrington High School
- Torrington Middle School
- Forbes Elementary School
- Torrington Christian Academy
- South School
- Oak Hill School
Shopping in Torrington, CT
When it comes to shopping, the town of Torrington does not come up short. With big-box retailers that are sprinkled all over the city for convenience, you will find anything and everything that you are looking for and more! If you prefer to shy away from big stores and are looking for something unique and one-of-a-kind, Torrington also has boutiques and specialty shops, that you can check out.
Here are some of the shopping places in Torrington:
- Torrington Commons Shopping Center
- Torrington Plaza
- Torrington Parkade
- Torrington Fair
- The Shops at Sky Top
- A&J Plaza
- Wasteland Gift Shop
The town of Torrington might be small compared to other towns or cities in Connecticut but people tend to gravitate towards this town because of the small-town traditional and homey charm that it exudes. The town is very welcoming and you can get the feeling of belonging once you set foot in Torrington. With a plethora of things to do and attractions to see, it is no wonder why Torrington is an up-and-coming town in the state.
If you are looking to relocate to Torrington, contact us today! Our team of real estate experts will guide you from step one until you find your next dream home. We will make it easy for you and take the stress out of finding a home and relocating so that you can relax and enjoy the process.