It is always interesting how many items that have left East Lyme find their way back home. This past month we have received two items of interest.
The New Boston Historical Society in New Hampshire was going through their files and found a copy of the April 1947 Old-Time New England with a story on the Thomas Lee House. They contacted us to see if we would like it for our collections. We only have one "well worn" copy and were glad to accept it. They sent it out and it will be placed in the Lee House in the spring. The article is available here.
We also received a note from Janice Bonaccorso of Barkhamsted, CT. She sent us an old post card of the beach at Rocky Neck. We have a few cards from this era, 1930's, but not this one. It also will make a nice addition to our collection.
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 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:
Do you enjoy looking at old newspapers and reading articles and ads? In the East Lyme Library Archives we have a number of papers anywhere from 25 to 75 or more years old. We also have bound copies of the old Niantic News starting in 1952. (These are great fun to read!)
Many of these papers are getting quite fragile. Starting in January, we will be looking at them to find and copy articles and ads about East Lyme. We especially are looking for the business ads. Some places are still in business, while others are only a memory.
If you would like to help, or just want to see them, stop by the Archive Room at the East Lyme Public Library, Society Road, Niantic, any Monday from 10:00 a.m. to noon.
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!