Friday, August 18th, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The East Lyme Historical Society invites you to our second Day on the Dig, with special guest Connecticut State Archaeologist Brian Jones.
Last year's simulated dig was very well received. This year we are shaking it up and getting real. The Society will be doing an actual dig, with participants helping to uncover the past on the grounds of the Thomas Lee House Museum.
Registration will begin on July 31st from 8:oo a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the East Lyme Community Center on Society Road in Niantic. Cash or check only, please. You may also visit this website between July 31st and August 11th to download a registration form to mail in with your check payment. (Please note that the registration sign up at the East Lyme Community Center is for Monday, July 31st only.)
This year's Dig is limited to 20 participants. Youths under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. (Adult need not participate but may watch from the sidelines.) The cost is $15.00 per participant and includes freshly made ice cream by Carolyn Stearns of Mountain Dairy. Please feel free to bring your picnic lunch to enjoy at the conclusion of the program.
The purposes and objectives of the Society shall be:
1. To engage in educational, archival, research and exploration activities and to support such activities that will increase knowledge of and engender appreciation of the history of the Town of East Lyme and its heritage.
2. To encourage the preservation and restoration of the town’s historical assets, such as houses, structures, burying grounds, early artifacts and other things associated with the town’s origin and history.
3. To determine and develop year round historical programs and implementation of same. These programs and activities shall include the period of colonial history and may include all periods of American history and other history.
4. To cooperate and participate with other organizations for similar purposes and objectives, both within and without the town.
5. To establish the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee to ensure the protection and preservation of the Thomas Lee House as an American heritage, wherein books, documents, pictures, furniture, tools, implements, artifacts and other articles associated with the history of the Thomas Lee House and the family are housed.
The Thomas Lee House (c. 1660) is one of the oldest wood frame houses in Connecticut still in its primitive state. The Lee House is listed on the National Register of Historic Houses, and is open for tours during the summer months. Learn more about the Lee House at
Several of our volunteers work to maintain the East Lyme Archives, a collection of documents and photographs in the East Lyme Room of the East Lyme Public Library. If you would like to know more about this program, you can read about it at
The first record of a school in the area of the Lee House dates to at least 1734. The present building was erected on land donated by Elisha Lee. In use until 1922, the building was eventually moved to its present location, next to the Lee House. It was donated to the East Lyme Historical Society in 1926. Learn more about the Little Boston School House at
Anthropology students from East Lyme and Ledyard High Schools, under the direction of James Littlefield and Dr. John Pfeiffer, conducted an archaeological study of the site of the original Little Boston School House. Their results can be found at:
Looking for DNA Connecions
The Society received the following letter from a descendant of John Lee of North Carolina. You can contact him at his e-mail at the end of this:
I am trying to find my Lee linage across the pond. Through the use of DNA I can trace my linage to John Lee Esq. born about 1690 in Johnston County North Carolina. Everyone from this line traveled south through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and west.
It appears to me that your Thomas Lee line and my John Lee Esq. b.abt. 1690 connect in England. I am looking for descendants of your Thomas Lee that have done or are interested in doing more DNA testing and hopefully we can find our roots in England and determine the approximate number of years before we connect.
I have been tested on Family Tree to 111 markers, YDNA test, Big Y test and sent my data to YFULL. I have found two people on Family Tree that are descendant of your Thomas Lee. One person identified as kit #405072 on Family Tree and I are matches at 37 markers on Family Tree. Our haplogroup are R-JFS0067 and R-JFS0069 and this person has sent his raw data to YFULL and we are waiting on a response. I expect we will receive an approximate number of years to a common ancestor.
FYI- The Henry Lee Society web site has all the Lee's tested on Family Tree which is free and very helpful. My email address is [email protected] and I would like to hear from anyone interested in finding our roots.
H B Lee Jr
Limited Edition Pens
In 2014, when the beam in the 1660's East Chamber of the Thomas Lee House was replaced, a small portion of it was saved. Some of the wood has been used to create beautiful pens engraved with "Thomas Lee House ca. 1660". These limited edition pens will be treasured gifts available first to our members.
You will have your choice of a regular ballpoint pen for $50 or a fountain pen, with ink and a kit to convert it to a ballpoint, for $60.
These pens have been selling fast. There is a very limited number left, so if you haven't ordered one act soon.
Each comes with a display box and a letter about it.
For an order form click here.
The East Lyme Historical Society owns and maintains the Thomas Lee House and Little Boston School House, offers educational programs to the community throughout the year, works to provide access to historical materials through its publications, archives, and website, and is always ready to work with other groups to help foster understanding and appreciation of the history of our town.
And we do it all as volunteers!
The generosity of our town and our members is greatly appreciated. Time, energy, and dollars donated are put immediately to work.
If you are currently a member, THANK YOU! If not, please consider joining us. You may download the Membership Form here, or print the Membership Form page here, and mail either one to us, or you can contact us at:
Donations are always welcome.
And please remember: all of our programs are open to the public, free of charge. We welcome your participation!
BUSINESS OWNERS: Become a Business Member of the East Lyme Historical Society for only $50 a year. Members receive a free listing on our Business Directory page, with a link to their own sites, as well as being mentioned in our newsletters. Our website is currently attracting over 900 unique visitors and 14,000 hits each month, from all over the country, and from around the world. Many of them are in the process of planning trips to our area, and would be interested in the services you provide. Local residents will recognize your generosity, as well.
INTERESTED IN BEING A VOLUNTEER? The Society is busy year-round, with a calendar full of events to plan and execute, and a substantial property to maintain. We are always looking for people to get involved. If you have ideas, would like to help organize future activities, or want to be a more active member of the society, let us know. We'd be thrilled to hear from you!