Adjacent to the Hadlyme Congregational Church in East Haddam is the Hadlyme North School. A one-room schoolhouse, it was built in 1794 and was initially run by the Ecclesiastical Society, later by a School Society and then by the town starting in 1865. The school closed in 1929 and by 1967 the building was in danger of demolition. The North School Society was formed to preserve the building, which is maintained by the Society and the Congregational Church.
The two-story building (with a partially exposed basement) at 167 Boston Post Road in East Lyme was built in 1916 as the Flanders Elementary School. It was designed by architect James Sweeney of New London. It served as a school until a new Flanders Elementary School building, attached to the 1916 building, opened in 1964. The original school building then became the Central Office of the East Lyme Public Schools.
Niantic Cinemas at 279 Main Street in Niantic opened in 1950 as the single-screen Niantic Theatre. It was renamed after it was purchased by the Mitchell family in 1979 and was split into three screens (later 4 and, in 2003, 5 screens).
Built in 1868 along Long Island Sound in Niantic, the Morton House Hotel (215 Main Street) has been in continuous operation for over a century. Also known as the Old Morton House, the building contains 38 guest rooms and a restaurant. Read the rest of this entry »
The Baptist Church in Lyme was established in 1752 and the first meeting house was built in 1754 on Meetinghouse Hill. By the later eighteenth century, membership in the church had grown to point that Baptists outnumbered Congregationalists in the parish. Repairs were made to the meeting house in 1788 and in 1804 the building was plastered for the first time. Originally known as the Lyme Baptist Church, the name was changed around 1810 to the “First Baptist Church of Lyme” after a second Baptist Church was formed in town. In 1839, when the area containing the church became part of the new town of East Lyme, the church became the First Baptist Church of East Lyme. A separate Baptist church in Niantic (part of East Lyme) was formed in 1842. By that time, demographic changes had resulted in the meeting house no longer being as centrally located as it had once been. With new churches established in Niantic and Old Lyme, the First Baptist Church moved to the village of Flanders in East Lyme, completing enough of the new meeting house to make the transfer from Meetinghouse Hill to Flanders in the spring of 1843. The old meeting house was taken down and sold for lumber to help pay for construction of the new building. A parsonage was built next door in 1879. The church has been known as the Flanders Baptist and Community Church since 1929.
Built circa 1695-1700, the Samuel Smith House (pdf), at 82 Plants Dam Road in East Lyme, is notable as an example of a mostly unaltered early colonial-era house. Additions were made in 1735 (when the end-chimney structure became a center-chimney structure with an expansion on the west side and the house was re-framed with a gambrel roof) and 1812 (when a rear ell was added), after which the house remained essentially unaltered. The house still has an eighteenth-century shed (with a lean-to added in the twentieth century), the original well and a c. 1810 outhouse. Also known as the Hurlbut House, the Smith House was built on land owned by Nehemiah Smith, Jr. In 1698, Smith transferred the property to his son, Samuel, who was probably already living on the property (his father lived elsewhere). Recently acquired by the town of East Lyme, the house is being restored by the Friends of the Samuel Smith House to become a museum.
The Niantic Baptist Church was established in 1843 by residents of East Lyme’s southern village of Niantic who were weary of making the trip to the northern village of Flanders each Sunday to worship at the Baptist Church there. The Niantic Baptist Church of 1843 burned in 1866 and was replaced the following year by the current church. The original steeple (a double cupola) was blown down in the 1938 hurricane and replaced by the current single cupola tower. A Fellowship Hall was added in 1959 and another fire in 1964 led to the restoration of the building, which is located at 443 Main Street.