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One of the original five municipalities in Pontiac, Litchfield was erected on November 20, 1846, with Alfred Lancaster as its first mayor. In December of the following year, the first meeting of the district of the 3rd Division of Ottawa County was held at the home of Samuel Morehead on Highway 148. Today the house is the home of Dawson Morehead. In 1964 the Pontiac County Council (now Pontiac MRC) built its headquarters in Litchfield, on Highway 148 at the edge of Campbell's Bay.

In the early days, Litchfield included the villages of Portage du Fort, Bryson, Campbell's Bay and Vinton, once known as St Elizabeth of Franktown. Today, all but Vinton are separate municipalities.
Some of the early post offices in Litchfield included: Smith's Corners, Goldwin on the Bank, Rockmount, and Martin Grace's, Early schools included: Acre's, Mousseau's School, Gamble's, Hearty's, Kane's and Kelly's, as well as several Roman Catholic schools.

The first sawmill in Litchfield was run by John Smith at Long Lake. Other mills at the same lake were operated by Pete Hearty and Mick McCrank. Litchfield was also noted for its many hotels and stopping places, including: Black Jim Kelly's, William Gilchrist, and Hurley's on the Mountain. Another notable hotel was Kensley's , at the edge of Campbell's Bay, owned by Louis Kensely, one of the greatest fiddlers that ever came out of Pontiac.