History Blog

Category Archives: Landmarks

Landmarks: A Piece of the Porch

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by Carolyn Wakeman Featured image: Volute detached from the porch of Florence Griswold House    A piece of hand-carved scrollwork, called a volute, that fell undamaged this week from the top of a column on the front porch of the Florence Griswold House lets us glimpse the artistry of unknown carpenters. Two rust-fringed nail holes […]

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Landmarks: The Disappearance of a Lyme Street House

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Carolyn Wakeman Featured Photo: Joseph Perkins house, ca. 1890, showing apple trees behind. LHSA  The stately Victorian home of General Joseph Griswold Perkins (1837-1913), long a landmark on Lyme Street, has disappeared. So has the vine-draped dwelling of Judge Henry Matson Waite (1787-1869) that once stood on the same site, just north of today’s Cooley Gallery. […]

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Landmarks: Old Lyme’s Meetinghouse, Part III—The Controversy

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The Independence Day holiday in 1907 passed without celebration in Old Lyme. Ashes still smoldered from the fire that demolished the Meetinghouse on July 3, and the community united in a sense of shared loss. But when the newly arrived minister proposed replacing the elegant white clapboard structure that had graced the village for almost a century with an “up-to-date” red brick church, controversy flared.

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Landmarks: Painted Gardens, Part 1- Boxwood Manor

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The dazzling displays of Old Lyme’s gardens have captured the eye of painters and photographers for more than a century. Beside village lanes and riverbanks, in formal designs and in cultivated wildness, blossoming gardens brought swaths of color to hotel grounds, country estates, and artists’ dooryards. Postcard views of the flowerbeds, hedgerows, rock walls, and fruit trees at Boxwood Manor became almost a signature image of the town’s scenic beauty in the 1930s.

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Landmarks: Old Lyme’s Meeting House, Part II–The Arson Investigation

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The identity of the “firebugs” responsible for burning the Old Lyme Meetinghouse remained a mystery throughout the summer of 1907. Then an attempt to ignite the village schoolhouse in November brought two suspected arsonists to trial.

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Landmarks: Marvin-Griffin House

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The distinctive house with pillared veranda at the foot of Lyme Street that historian Martha J. Lamb described in 1876 as a “modern” mansion traces its origins to Albany. Erected for Benjamin Marvin, Jr. (1743–1823) ca. 1820, the two-story mid-section was built with lumber provided by his sons who had settled in the Hudson River Valley. The timbers, pre-cut in an Albany sawmill and shipped down the Hudson River, then across Long Island Sound, were assembled just south of the village green on the site of an earlier family dwelling.

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