Litchfield, Illinois

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Cars in a "66" formation at the SkyView Drive-In.
Cars in a "66" formation at the SkyView Drive-In.
"Many pleasant surprises!"[1][2]
Location of Litchfield in Montgomery County, Illinois.
Location of Litchfield in Montgomery County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 39°10′36″N 89°39′13″W / 39.17667°N 89.65361°W / 39.17667; -89.65361Coordinates: 39°10′36″N 89°39′13″W / 39.17667°N 89.65361°W / 39.17667; -89.65361
CountryUnited States
 • MayorSteve Dougherty
 • Total10.62 sq mi (27.50 km2)
 • Land8.62 sq mi (22.34 km2)
 • Water1.99 sq mi (5.16 km2)
693 ft (211 m)
 • Total6,939
 • Estimate 
 • Density789.89/sq mi (304.97/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)217
FIPS code17-43965
Wikimedia CommonsLitchfield, Illinois
WebsiteThe City of Litchfield, Illinois

Litchfield is a city in Montgomery County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,939 at the 2010 census,[5] and 6,588 in 2009 and 7,012 in 2015. It is located in south central Illinois, south of Springfield and part of the Metro-East region of St. Louis.


Litchfield was developed in 1853 by Montgomery County, Illinois surveyors in preparation for the arrival of the Alton Terre Haute Railroad Company. In 1854, when news spread of the railroad bypassing nearby Hardinsburg, Illinois and going through Litchfield, close to 50 residents moved their residences on rollers across the prairie and settled them in Litchfield near the railroad. Only a small cemetery remains of Hardinsburg.

Litchfield was officially incorporated on April 4, 1856.

The town was named after Electus Backus Litchfield, a financier, who brought the railroad to Litchfield. The town was originally called Huntsville after it was thought that Railroad Chief Engineer George Hunt was going to be the one to bring in the railroad.


Litchfield is located at 39°10′36″N 89°39′13″W / 39.17667°N 89.65361°W / 39.17667; -89.65361 (39.176741, -89.653721).[6]

According to the 2010 census, Litchfield has a total area of 6.825 square miles (17.68 km2), of which 6.45 square miles (16.71 km2) (or 94.51%) is land and 0.375 square miles (0.97 km2) (or 5.49%) is water.[7]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20166,812[4]−1.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 6,815 people, 2,772 households, and 1,785 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,338.5 people per square mile (517.0/km²). There were 3,011 housing units at an average density of 591.4 per square mile (228.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.31% White, 0.37% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.95% of the population.

There were 2,772 households in 2010, out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97.

The population is distributed with 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,717, and the median income for a family was $34,139. Males had a median income of $26,238 versus $19,545 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,612. About 15.7% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]


The Ariston Café is one of the oldest restaurants along the historic U.S. Route 66, commonly known as Old Route 66, though the café itself claims it is possibly the oldest [1]. The Ariston Café was founded in 1924 in the town of Carlinville, Illinois, but was moved to its present location. The café was inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame in 1992. Another landmark is Litchfield's Lake Lou Yaeger, located northeast of town. [2]. The SkyView Theater is a member of the Route 66 Hall of Fame and has been in operation since 1951. It is among the last drive-in theaters still operating along Route 66 [3].

The Ariston Café, a popular stop along U.S. Route 66.

The grand opening of the Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center was June 1, 2013. The museum is located across from the Ariston Café at 334 North Historic Route 66. The museum is owned by the Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center Association and is maintained mainly through donations. In 1934, The Belvidere Motel opened in Litchfield. It is one of the oldest motels around.



Litchfield Municipal Airport is located two nautical miles (3.7 km) southwest of the central business district of Litchfield.

Litchfield is served by Interstate 55 and Illinois Route 16.

Two Class 1 railroad lines (Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Norfolk Southern) cross at the south edge of Litchfield after running parallel through town from north to south.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The City of Litchfield, Illinois". The City of Litchfield, Illinois. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  2. ^ "Litchfied, Illinois". Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  3. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 29, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ "Jackie Mayo Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved August 31, 2012.

External links[edit]