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The Litchfield County University Club was conceived by Carl and Ellen Battell Stoeckel, wealthy patrons of the arts, and founded at a meeting on May 29, 1896 at Whitehouse, their home in Norfolk.  It grew out of a concern that those who had enjoyed the advantages of a liberal education were so scattered and isolated in the northwest corner of Connecticut as to rarely come into contact with each other.  The idea met with resounding success and the first Annual Meeting, 55 members present, was held at the Stoeckels' home in Norfolk called "Whitehouse" on June 16, 1897.