The Little Boston School in East Lyme was first established in 1734. There is a surviving Little Boston School House that was built around 1805 and originally stood on the north side of West Main Street. The school was run by the Second Ecclesiastical Society of Lyme until 1856 and from then until 1922 by the Town of East Lyme. After closing as a school, the building was donated to the East Lyme Historical Society in 1926 and moved to a new location, adjacent to the Thomas Lee House. Restored to an early twentieth-century appearance in 1973, the school house is now a museum.
A Greek Revival house with an elaborate window in its front gable, the Smith-Harris House in East Lyme was most likely built in 1845 by John Clark for Thomas Avery. The house was later occupied by Avery’s son, William, and after his death, it was sold to William H. H. Smith, who used it as a summer home. In 1921, he sold it to his brother and nephew, Herman Smith and Frank Harris, who had married two sisters. After the deaths of their husbands, the sisters continued to reside in the house, until they relocated to a nursing home. The house was left vacant and was deteriorating when a group of citizens urged the town to save and restore the house. A restoration committee was appointed in 1974 and the restored house opened as East Lyme’s Town Museum in 1976.
Built around 1660, the Thomas Lee House in Niantic is one of Connecticut’s oldest wood frame post-Medieval English houses. The original structure consisted of a single-room ground floor with a chamber above. This was expanded, after 1700, with the addition of a West Parlor and Chamber. The lean-to, which makes the house a saltbox, was added about 1765. The Lee family owned the house for two hundred years, until it was sold to a local farmer who used it as a barn and chicken coop. The farmer planned to tear the house down, but in 1914, it was saved by the East Lyme Historical Society, with help from the Connecticut Society of Colonial Wars, the Society of Colonial Dames, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities and Lee family descendants. The house was restored under the direction of Norman Morrison Isham, an architectural historian and author of Early Connecticut Houses (1900). It opened to the public in 1915 as a historic house museum, operated by the East Lyme Historical Society.