Sunday, February 8th, 2:00 p.m.
Marty Podskoch with Carl Stamm
The Civilian Conservation Corps and East Lyme's Stone's Ranch
In recognition of the 82nd anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Marty Podskoch will discuss the history of the CCC, including its East Lyme camp in the Stone Ranch vicinity. Local resident Carl Stamm will share his memories and experiences.
This program will be held at the Niantic Community Church, 170 Pennsylvania Avenue, Niantic, in the lower level meeting room. Parking is on-site and admission is free. Donations gratefully accepted.
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:
In 1631,Robert Rich, the Earl of Warwick, gave to several friends a deed, or patent, granting them lands at the mouth of the Connecticut River. These friends included Viscount Saye and Seal, Lord Brook and Colonel George Fenwick. These worthies chose John Winthrop the Younger as governor of the territory and hired Lion Gardiner to build a fort and lay out a town, which he did in 1635. When Governor Winthrop arrived, he named the town Saybrook, in honor of Viscount Saye and Seale and Lord Brook.
In 1637, George Fenwick, the only patentee to come to the colony, became governor. In 1648 outlying areas were divided into quarters to be granted to prospective settlers. The third quarter, on the east side of the river included today’s Old Lyme, Lyme, East Lyme and part of Salem. When the settlers on the east side of the river had reached “a competency of land to entertain thurty familyes” they petitioned the Connecticut General Court for permission to call their own minister and to establish their own town. A minister, a young man named Moses Noyes, was located in Massachusetts and permission was granted to establish a new town covering the area described above. To complete the process, an agreement was signed by representatives from both sides of the river on February 13, 1665 in an event known as “The Loving Parting” due to the amicable nature of the affair. The name Lyme was attached to this new town in 1667, the name coming from the community of Lyme Regis in England, a town to which some of the settlers had ties.
Signers for the east side were: Matthew Griswold, William Waller, Reynold Marvin, John Lay Sr., Richard Smith and John Comstock. For the west side, signers were: John Westall, William Pratt, Robert Lay, William Parker and Zackariah Sanford.
The historical groups from Saybrook, Lyme, Old Lyme, East Lyme and Salem are working together to commemorate this event. As more information becomes available, we will post it here. You may also learn more about upcoming events at each of their websites:
Connecticut River Museum
Thursday, January 22nd, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The New York Connection: A Trip Downriver
Join train artist Steve Cryan for a virtual voyage along the Connecticut River as he brings us his wonderful photos of transportation today and long ago. This year’s program will feature images and stories about the tugs, trains (with a special focus on cabooses) and steamships that traveled the Hartford to New York City route. Steve will be available from 5:15 – 5:45 in the Train Show exhibit on the third floor for conversation. At 5:45 p.m. the lecture will take place in the Museum Boathouse. Advance reservations strongly suggested as seating is limited. CRM members free, $5 per person for non-members. For more information, please visit:
New London Landmarks
Thursday, January 22nd, 6:30 p.m.
Back to the Future: Urban Renewal Meets New Urbanism
New London Landmarks will present its Annual Film Series with a collection of short films about architecture, preservation, and urbanism. Discussion to follow with architect and film enthusiast Rick Gipstein of Lindsay Liebig Roche Architects LLC. The public is encouraged to attend at the BP Learned Center, 40 Shaw Street, New London. For more information, please visit:
Connecticut State Museum of Natural History Connecticut Archaeology Center
Saturday, January 24th, 2:00 p.m.
Secrets of Kennewick Man
The skeleton of Kennewick Man is nearly 9,000 years old, but it’s the last 18 years that have really been eventful. The skeleton was accidentally found in 1996 on the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington. Local investigators first thought the skeleton was that of a possible crime victim, and later proposed the bones might date to the 19th century. When they were determined to be thousands of years older (and included a stone spear point embedded in the pelvis), scientists worldwide became interested. Scientist Douglas Owsley and a team of specialists were allowed to conduct a 16-day study of the skeleton in 2005. The findings of the research are revisited in a new book Dr. Owsley co-edited, Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton. In this special lecture he will share his findings along with those of other physical and forensic anthropologists, archaeologists, geologists, and geochemists. Sponsored by the Friends of the Office of State Archaeology, the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and Connecticut Archaeology Center, and the Archaeology Society of Connecticut. $10 general admission; $5 for students with ID. Current FOSA, ASC, Museum of Natural History members, and Farmington students and faculty admitted free with ID. This lecture takes place at Farmington High School, 10 Monteith Drive, Farmington. Snow date is Sunday, January 25, 2:00 p.m. For more information, please visit:
Groton Bank Historical Association
Sunday, January 25th, 2:00 p.m.
The Lighthouses of New London Harbor
Susan Tamulevich, director of the New London Maritime Society and Custom House Museum will speak about the lighthouses which for more than a century have led mariners into New London Harbor: New London Light, Thames Ledge Light and Race Rock Light. These structures are now owned by the New London Maritime Society and Susan will tell us what the Society is doing with them. The public is invited to this meeting, which takes place at the Groton Congregational Church on Monument Street at the corner of Meridian Street in Groton. For more information, please visit:
Sunday, January 25th, 3:00 p.m.
The Story of the Society of the Cinncinati
The public is invited to this presentation by guest speaker Steven Shaw at the Denison Homestead, 120 Pequotsepos Road, Mystic. For more information, please visit:
Cromwell Historical Society
Monday, January 26th, 7:00 p.m.
The Metabaseks & The Indian Communities of Connecticut
This program, presented by Lucianne Livin, is open to the public. It takes place at the Stevens-Frisbie House, 395 Main Street, Cromwell. Donations are appreciated. For more information, please visit:
Mystic River Historical Society
Wednesday, January 28th, 7:30 p.m.
The History of the Submarine Base, New London
Capt. Carl Lahti, Submarine Base Commanding Officer, will highlight the establishment of the installation following the Civil War and the state and local efforts that helped bring it to fruition. Although it has always been in Groton, it was originally called the New London Navy Yard and Coaling Station. Its role shifted in 1916 when it was designated the country’s first submarine base. Captain Lahti will discuss the growth of the base through the two World Wars and the Cold War, as well as its present function. This program is open to the public, with a suggested donation of $5, It will be held at the Mystic Congregational Church's hall on Broadway Street, Mystic. For more information, please visit:
Haddam Historical Society
Sunday, February 1st, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Winter Woolies Knitting Bee
Enjoy a “historic” Sunday afternoon in the early 19th century kitchen of the Thankful Arnold House Museum, 14 Hayden Hill Road, Haddam, to work on your unfinished knitting or needlework project. Join knitting master Beth Hartke and enjoy the company of others with NO modern day intrusions. Share knitting knowledge, patterns and stories. Registration is required, since space is limited. Admission is free. Light refreshments will be offered. For more information, please visit:
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!