At 22 Lyme Street in Old Lyme is a former church building that is now a private home, with the old choir loft converted into children’s bedrooms and a half bathroom where the confessional had once stood. The church was built in 1843 for Old Lyme’s Baptist community, which had previously gathered intermittently at various locations, often private homes. The Baptist Society disbanded in 1923 due to declining membership. Episcopalians purchased the building three years later. In 1934, the church was leased by the Roman Catholic Diocese, which dedicated it as Christ the King Church in 1937. The Parish now has a new church building, completed in 2005, at 1 McCurdy Road in Old Lyme.
The Old Lyme Inn is located in an old farm house built around 1856 by the Champlain family. Around the turn of the century, members of the Old Lyme artist’s colony would come to the Champlain farm to paint and used the barn as a studio. Jacqueline Kennedy reportedly took lessons at the riding academy located at the farm. Construction of the Connecticut Turnpike led the Champlain family to sell the house, which became the Barbizon Oak Inn, named for the Barbizon school of painting and a 300-year-old Oak tree on the property. A fire in 1965 led to the closing of the Barbizon Oak Inn, but the building was restored by later owners to open as the Old Lyme Inn (85 Lyme Street in Old Lyme).
Gurdon Clark built the Huntley-Brown House on the Boston Post Road in Laysville in Old Lyme around 1795. Matthew Peck purchased the house in 1808 and sold it to William B. Tooker in 1827. Marvin Huntley, Jr. (1800–1886) bought the house a year later and it remained in the Huntley family for over a century. In 1959, architect Jane Carter and her daughter-in-law Sue McCloud Carter purchased the house and moved it to a lot near the Florence Griswold House. Mrs. John Crosby Brown, President of the Lyme Society, acquired the house in 1974 to serve as a home for the Society’s Director. It was later converted to administrative offices and is still on the grounds of the Florence Griswold Museum.
Across from the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, on South Green, is a house built around 1700 by Amos Tinker. In 1753, it was purchased by John McCurdy, a Scotch-Irish ship merchant who was a patriot during the Revolutionary War. George Washington spent a night in the house in April, 1776, when he was on his way from Boston to New York. In July, 1778, Lafayette was also a guest at the McCurdy home. John McCurdy was the grandfather of Judge Charles Johnson McCurdy, who lived in the home in his later years.
The house of Capt. Samuel Mather, on Lyme Street in Old Lyme, is an impressive gambrel-roofed structure built around 1790. The width of the house’s clapboard siding is graduated, increasing with each course up to the building’s cornice. Capt. Mather, a descendant of Rev. Richard Mather of Dorchester, was a wealthy merchant involved in trade with the West Indies. He married Lois Griswold and their daughter, Mehitable Mather, married Capt. Thomas Sill. The house is now the Parsonage of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.
The house built for Hiram G. Marvin, on Lyme Street in Old Lyme, is an 1824 Federal style structure with some Greek Revival influences. In 2007, the house became the first in Old Lyme to have an historical plaque from the Historic District Commission. Hiram G. Marvin had two brothers, one named Aaron Burr Marvin and the other named Alexander Hamilton Marvin (probably both born in the 1790s). I wonder if they got along later in life?
The Peck Tavern House, located where Sill Lane branches off from US 1 in Old Lyme, may have been built as early as 1680. The house served as an inn and tavern from the mid-eighteenth century into the nineteenth. It has recently been a Bed & Breakfast.