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.
Colonial, East Lyme, Houses