Thomas Lyman House (1778)

May 9th, 2014 Posted in Colonial, Durham, Houses

Thomas Lyman House

The house at 105 Middlefield Road in Durham was built circa 1774-1778 for Thomas Lyman IV (1746-1832). A native of Durham, Thomas Lyman spent time in the south, where his family claimed a grant of land, before returning to Connecticut. He served as quartermaster of the First Connecticut Regiment in the Revolutionary War and as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1818. Lyman is said to have visited Thomas Jefferson for a week at Monticello and to have have entertained Lafayette at the house in Durham on several occasions. Lyman married Rachel Seward in 1771. The house was built on land that Lyman inherited from his brother Stephen, who died in 1775. It is a hipped-roof structure, which was uncommon for colonial Connecticut. Perhaps Lyman was influenced by his time in the South. The house remained in the Lyman family for many years. It was recently donated to the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, which has put the house up for sale, with the proceeds to be used to launch a new Revolving Fund for preservation projects around the state.

Thomas Lyman House

  1. 2 Responses to “Thomas Lyman House (1778)”

  2. By Christopher Wigren on May 9, 2014

    Thanks for posting this. New research commissioned by the Connecticut Trust shows that the house was built in about 1790, not 1778 as previously believed. You can read about it here: — go to page 10. The Trust has also found that the hipped-roof form is not necessarily southern. There are several examples in Connecticut, including the Benjamin Stiles house, in Southbury, and the Moses Wells house, in South Windsor.

  3. By Daniel on May 9, 2014

    Thank you for the updated information!!

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