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Lyme, Connecticut
First Congregational Church
First Congregational Church
Official seal of Lyme, Connecticut
Seal
Location within New London County, Connecticut
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County New London
Metropolitan area New London
Settled 1645
Incorporated February 13, 1667
Government
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
Area
 • Total 34.5 sq mi (89.4 km2)
 • Land 31.9 sq mi (82.5 km2)
 • Water 2.6 sq mi (6.8 km2)
Elevation
26 ft (8 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 2,352
 • Density 68.17/sq mi (26.309/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
06371 (Old Lyme PO) and 06439 (Hadlyme PO)
Area code(s) 860/959
FIPS code 09-44210
GNIS feature ID 0213453

Lyme is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States, situated on the eastern side of the Connecticut River. The population was 2,352 at the 2020 census. Lyme is the eponym for Lyme disease.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.5 square miles (89 km2), of which 31.9 square miles (83 km2) is land and 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2), or 7.63%, is water.

Principal communities

  • Bill Hill
  • Hadlyme
  • Hamburg (town center)
  • North Lyme

Other minor communities and geographic areas are Becket Hill, Brockway's Ferry (also known as Brockway Landing), Brush Hill, Elys Ferry, Grassy Hill, Gungy, Joshuatown, Lord Hill, Mt. Archer, Pleasant Valley, Rogers Lake West Shore, Sterling City, and Tuttles Sandy Beach.

History

The portion of the territory of the Saybrook Colony east of the Connecticut River was set off as the plantation of East Saybrook in February 1665. This area included present-day Lyme, Old Lyme, and the western part of East Lyme. In 1667, the Connecticut General Court formally recognized the East Saybrook plantation as the town of Lyme, named after Lyme Regis, a coastal town in Southern England. The eastern portion of Lyme (bordering the town of Waterford) separated from Lyme and became East Lyme in 1823, and the southern portion of Lyme (along Long Island Sound) separated as South Lyme in 1855 (renamed to Old Lyme in 1857). These two changes were consistent with the then-existing laws in the state of Connecticut.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 4,069
1850 2,668
1860 1,246 −53.3%
1870 1,181 −5.2%
1880 1,025 −13.2%
1890 977 −4.7%
1900 750 −23.2%
1910 746 −0.5%
1920 674 −9.7%
1930 546 −19.0%
1940 717 31.3%
1950 857 19.5%
1960 1,183 38.0%
1970 1,484 25.4%
1980 1,822 22.8%
1990 1,949 7.0%
2000 2,016 3.4%
2010 2,406 19.3%
2020 2,352 −2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

2020 census

As of the 2020 census, Lyme had a population of 2,352.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, Lyme had a population of 2,406. Its racial and ethnic makeup was 96.5% non-Hispanic white, 0.1% non-Hispanic black, 0.1% non-Hispanic Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% non-Hispanic from some other race, 0.6% from two or more races and 1.7% Hispanic or Latino.

Voter registration

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 26, 2021
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Republican 462 8 470 24.0%
Democratic 738 8 746 38.1%
Unaffiliated 697 18 715 36.5%
Minor Parties 26 0 26 1.3%
Total 1,923 34 1957 100%

Ancestry/Ethnicity

According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2017 the largest (those over 1% of the population) self-identified ancestry/ethnic groups in Lyme were:

Largest ancestries (2017) Percent
English 30.5%
Irish 19.8%
German 14.2%
Italian 11.7%
American 7.3%
Polish 6.3%
Scottish 4.9%
French-Canadian 3.5%
Swedish 2.4%
Norwegian 1.6%
Swiss 1.5%
Russian 1.2%

Public transportation

The Estuary Transit District provides public transportation throughout Lyme and the surrounding towns through its 9 Town Transit Service. Services include connections to Old Saybrook station, served by Amtrak and Shore Line East railroads.

On the National Register of Historic Places

Notable people

Note: Some of the earlier notables on this list were residents of the part of Lyme that is now Old Lyme.

  • Robert Ballard (born 1942), lives in Lyme; oceanographer.
  • Joan Bennett (1910–1990), buried in Lyme; film and television actress.
  • Hiel Brockway (died 1842), born in Lyme; founder of Brockport, New York.
  • Zebulon Brockway (1827–1920), born in Lyme; penologist; "Father of prison reform" in the United States.
  • Daniel Chadwick (1825–1884), born in Lyme; lawyer and politician.
  • Donald Barr Chidsey (1902–1981), lived in Lyme for many years; novelist and historian.
  • Wequash Cooke (died 1642), buried in Lyme; Native American leader.
  • William Diard (1924–2009), retired to Lyme and died there; operatic tenor.
  • Dominick Dunne, (1925–2009), owned a house in Lyme (Hadlyme); author, journalist, and film producer.
  • John Ely (1737–1800), born in Lyme; surgeon and colonel in the American Revolution.
  • Walker Evans (1903–1975), lived in Lyme 1940s to 1975; photographer.
  • Gladys Kelley Fitch (1896–1971), lived in Lyme; artist; member Old Lyme Art Colony.
  • Matthew Griswold (1714–1799), born in Lyme; governor of Connecticut (1784–1786).
  • Roger Griswold (1762–1812), born in Lyme; son of Mathew; US congressman (1785-1805), governor of Connecticut (1811-1812).
  • Roger Hilsman, (1919–2014), lived in Lyme; member Lyme Democratic Committee; World War II hero, diplomat, and author.
  • Harry Holtzman (1912–1987), lived in Lyme; abstract artist.
  • Stephen Johnson (1724–1786), minister Lyme First Congregational; pamphleteer.
  • Ezra Lee (1749–1821), born in Lyme; commander of the Turtle submarine during the Revolutionary War, and world's first submariner.
  • Beatrice Lillie (1894–1989), lived on Grassy Hill Rd, Lyme in the 1970s; Canadian-born actress.
  • Abijah Perkins Marvin (1813–1889), born in Lyme; minister, writer, and teacher; member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1853.
  • Dudley Marvin (1786–1856), born in Lyme; congressman.
  • Charles J. McCurdy, (1897–1891), born and died in Lyme; Lt. Governor of Connecticut.
  • William Brown Meloney (1905–1971) and Rose Franken (1895–1988), lived in Lyme; husband-wife writing and play production team.
  • Robert Mulligan (1925–2008), died at home in Lyme; film director; directed To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Jonathan Parsons (1705–1776), Lyme clergyman.
  • Samuel Holden Parsons (1737–1789), born in Lyme; brigadier general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
  • Jedediah Peck (1748–1821), born in Lyme; "Father of the Common School System" in New York state.
  • John Sill Rogers (1796–1860), born in Lyme; physician and politician.
  • Sewell Sillman (1924–1992), lived in Lyme and died there; painter, educator, and art print publisher.
  • Ansel Sterling (1782–1853), born in Lyme; congressman from Connecticut.
  • Micah Sterling (1784–1844), born in Lyme; congressman from New York.
  • Allen Tucker (1838–1903), born in Lyme; Medal of Honor recipient in the American Civil War.
  • Henry Matson Waite (1787–1869), born in Lyme; Chief Justice of Connecticut Supreme Court.
  • Morrison Remick Waite (1816–1888), born in Lyme; Chief Justice of the United States.

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