While the book is similar in size and format to its out-of-print predecessor, the selection of photos is all new. The book sells for $20.00, and may be purchased at the East Lyme Public Library, 39 Society Road, Niantic; the Town Clerk’s office at the East Lyme Town Hall, 108 Pennsylvania Avenue, Niantic; the East Lyme Police Department, 278 Main Street, Niantic; and the Book Barn, 41 West Main Street, Niantic. You may also make arrangements to purchase them directly, by emailing us at:
Looking for a special gift for someone special? The East Lyme Historical Society has recently published the long awaited sequel to Scallop Shells and Granite Too. Our new book, entitled Factories, Farms and Fishes Too: Historical Photographs of East Lyme Connecticut, contains over 225 photos chronicling the working life of East Lyme through the years.
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.
Thomas Lee House
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
For the past few years, we have been preparing for the installation of a hand-hewn beam in the second floor East room of the house, to replace the original, but badly deteriorating, one. To learn more about this project, and what you can do to help, visit
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
Little Boston School House
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:
Society Receives Grant from Niantic Rotary Club
On October 16th, Elizabeth Kuchta, Vice President of the East Lyme Historical Society, along with members of other area non-profits, attended the Niantic Rotary Club meeting. Each group received a grant in support of its activities. The Society received a check for $500 to be used toward the replacement of the beam in the upper East Chamber.
The Society is grateful for the Rotary's donation and its ongoing efforts to help local organizations.
Learn more about the efforts to replace the beam, and how you can contribute, here.
News from Our Neighbors
Fridays, December 13th and 20th, and Saturday, December 21st, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
A Dickens Parlor Christmas
Jennifer Emerson, historic interpreter and Dickens enthusiast, will entertain you with a dramatic reading from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Enjoy the beauty of a Victorian museum decorated for the holidays. Christmas cookies and punch will be served. Tickets are $15.00 per person. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. For more information, please visit:
Windham Textile Mill
Friday-Sunday, December 13th-15th and December 20th-22nd
History and Christmas and the Winter Holidays in New England
The Mill Museum will present an exhibit on History and Christmas and the Winter Holidays in New England. Trees, wreaths, decorations, vintage toys, and other fun stuff will all be on display. Free for children 15 and under, when accompanied by an adult. The Mill Museum is located at 411 Main Street, Willimantic. For more information, please visit:
Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and Connecticut Archaeology Center
Saturday, December 14th, 3:00 p.m.
Connecticut's Indigenous People
More than 10,000 years ago, people settled on lands that now lie within the boundaries of the state of Connecticut. Leaving no written records and scarce archaeological remains, these peoples and their communities have remained unknown to all but a few archaeologists and other scholars. How do we know anything about these ancient people? What are the clues and discoveries that tell the story of Connecticut’s indigenous peoples from the first settlement to the present day?
Dr. Lucianne Lavin, Director of Research and Collections at the Institute for American Indian Studies, drew on exciting new archaeological and ethnographic discoveries, interviews with Native Americans, and rare documents for her new book, Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples-What Archaeology, History, and Oral Traditions Teach Us About Their Communities and Their Cultures. The book creates a fascinating and remarkably detailed portrait of indigenous peoples before European contact and of their changing lives during the past 400 years. Join Dr. Lavin and learn about how and why she wrote the book as well as some of the intriguing histories and cultural characteristics of Connecticut’s indigenous peoples upon which it is based. A question and answer session will follow. Copies of the book will be available for signing.
This event is free, and no registration is required. For adults and children ages fourteen and above; children must be accompanied by an adult. Presented by the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and Connecticut Archaeology Center, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UConn For more information, please visit:
Denison Homestead Museum
Saturday-Sunday, December 21st-22nd, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Christmas House Tours and Festive Fun
Celebrate the holidays with a visit to the beautifully decorated Denison Homestead Museum. Enjoy two fun-filled days of music, storytelling, and other festive activites, including house tours with staff in period clothing and ornament making by the Clayroom of Groton. Cookies and hot chocolate, too! Cost is $10.00 per person for adults, $5.00 per child, or $25.00 per family. FREE for Active Military, spouses and their children. Denison Homestead Museum is located at 120 Pequotsepos Road, Mystic. For more information, please visit:
Your Support is Important!
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 700 unique visitors and 10,000 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!