(please note that some street addresses have changed since this nomination was prepared)
National Register Nomination Information:
The Lyme Common Historic District is comprised of more than sixty primary structures with assorted outbuildings situated fronting the Lyme Common and the surrounding network of six roads which intersect at the Common. The centerpiece of the district is the common itself, a long narrow open area laid out in an east-west direction.
The buildings facing the north side of the common have a Main Street address while those on the south side are given a numerical designation "On the Common". Six streets feed into the Common. Union Street enters from the southwest, East Thetford Road from the west, Market Street from the southeast and Dorchester Road from the east. North of the eastern end of the Common, the visual anchor of the district, the Congregational Church occupies a small triangular piece of land bordered by Main Street in the south, a short stretch of road known as John Tomson Way on the east and Pleasant Street which continues northward, along the west side of the Church. The travelway consisting of Union Street, Main Street and Pleasant Street is also known as State Route 10.
Most of the buildings in the district are set on relatively flat lots shaded by substantial mature trees. Street lines are defined by a border of granite curbing; electrical wires, and utility poles crisscross the streets. Several houses retain picket fences representative of the many fences which outlined the properties in the 19th century. Approaching the district from the south, west and north, the landscape changes from open fields to the relatively dense pattern of development characterizing the village. Grant Brook acts as a natural southern boundary for the district.
The majority of buildings are residential in nature, constructed originally as single-family residences. In recent years, some, most notably those fronting the common and on Union Street have been converted to commercial use, though care has been taken to preserve the overall residential character. Also included in the district are municipal properties including two school buildings, the Town Office/Library, a Church, cemetery, jail and hearse house.
Construction dates in the district range from the late 1700's to the 1980's though the overwhelming majority predate the Civil War. With the exception of the brick school, library, jail and a single brick house, all of the buildings are of frame and clapboard construction. Though a few have been covered in synthetic sidings all can be characterized as being in good to excellent condition.
Descriptions of the buildings contained in the district begin on Union Street above Grant Brook and proceed in a roughly clockwise fashion as follows: along the west side of Union Street to the south side of East Thetford Road crossing to the north side of East Thetford Road and continuing eastward along Main Street; thence northward along the west side of Pleasant Street. Crossing the street at the High Street intersection to the east side of Pleasant Street; thence describing John Tomson Way. Crossing Dorchester Road, descriptions begin at the north end of Market Street with the east side of the street and continue northward along the west side; thence proceeding westward along the south side of the common and then in a southwest direction along the east side of Union Street to the starting point. A description of the common concludes this narrative.
1. Dimick House, (1 Union Street), 1842, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded Cape measuring five bays wide and two bays deep above a granite block foundation fronted by a picket fence. The central six-panel door is flanked by partial sidelights with a fluted surround decorated by cornerblocks. The doublehung 2/2 windows are capped by plain lintels with blinds. A simple projecting boxed cornice with returns on the ends encircles the building. A single offcenter corbel cap brick chimney projects from the asphalt roof. Spanning the southside is a hip roofed porch supported by plain posts. A 1-1/2 story ell projects behind. Each slope is punctuated by a single shed dormer. A three-sided bay window projects from the south side framed by a paneled surround above a brick foundation.
A large clapboarded attached barn is offset to the southwest with a sliding door on its broad facade and a two story shed addition spanning the south side. Like the main house it is detailed by cornerboards and a plain frieze under projecting eaves.
According to research by Dorothy Sears this house was constructed in 1842 for Daniel B. Dimick.(1)
2. Warren House, (1 Union Street), 1867, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded Classic Cottage with a characteristic 5 x 2 bay configuration. The central entrance contains a horizontally and vertically paneled wooden door with large upper glass. The doublehung 2/2 windows are capped by lipped lintels with exterior storm windows and a high kneewall above each typical of the Classic Cottage form. Corner pilasters support a projecting boxed cornice with plain frieze which returns on the ends. The gable roof is covered in .standing seam metal with a single offcenter brick chimney emerging from the south side ridge. The foundation is faced in concrete. A three-sided bay window with multiple small panes; has been added to the south end. Extending behind is a l story ell which connects to a former barn sited perpendicular to the ell with sliding doors on the front and a modern story high multipane window with semi-circular upper panel on the south side. Attached to the rear is another barn, set at right angles. Both barn structures are sheathed in clapboards on the south side and in barnboard on the north.
Constructed in 1867 for Ruel Warren.(2)
2A. Garage/shed, 1923, Contributing building. A single story outbuilding located north of the main house and set with its open and doorless gable front to the street. The building is covered in stucco with wood trim. Above the opening is a sign reading '1923'.
3. Perry House, (5 Union Street) 1830, Contributing building.
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure with a broad gable front, two bays wide above a brick foundation. The facade is spanned by a hip roofed porch supported by plain posts resting on a shingled wall with balled newel posts. The central entrance contains a plank door with a single 2/1 window to the south. Side elevations are each four bays deep with doublehung 2/1 windows capped by entablature lintel. A shed dormer with three continuous windows spans the south slope. An exterior brick chimney is located on the north side. The roof is sheathed in asphalt shingles and has projecting eaves. Extending behind is a shorter single-story wing connecting the main house and a tall clapboarded garage/barn with three openings on the west side, two garage doors and a set of double doors.
3A. Shed, c. 1900, Contributing building. Behind the barn is a small gable roofed shed constructed of vertical boards with sliding door and an asphalt covered roof.
This house was constructed in 1831, built partly by the town for Mrs. Lydia Perry. Thomas Perkins sold the land to Lydia Perry in 1830 and she lived there until 1869 when she sold it. She was the widow of Lyme's third minister and the town gave her $500 toward her house cost.(3)
4. Lyme Congregational Church Parsonage, (7 Union Street), 1933,
A 2-1/2 story vinyl-sided structure measuring 5 x 4 bays and sited on a large open lot. The central entrance is marked by a gable porch supported by plain posts. Partial sidelights frame the six-panel door. The doublehung 6/6 windows on the building are without lintels and are framed by blinds. The gable roof is covered in asphalt shingles and punctuated by a central brick chimney with an additional smaller brick chimney behind. A projecting boxed cornice accents the structure. An open porch supported by plain posts, three at each corner, spans the north side. A second entrance is located at the rear of the south side marked by a pediment supported by plain posts with sidewalls constructed of plywood.
This house replaces a brick parsonage constructed in 1823 which burned in 1933. Harris Pushee, Sr. served as builder for the present structure.(4) Although of relatively recent construction, this building fits well, in terms of massing and detailing, with other buildings in the district.
4A. Garage/Shed, 1933. Contributing building. A clapboarded outbuilding with double doors on its broad facade, 4 x 3 pane fixed windows, a asphalt roof. and close eaves.
5. Fairfield House, (9 Union Street), 1842, Contributing
A 1-3/4 story clapboarded house set gable end to the.street measuring five bays across on the first floor of the facade, with three windows on the second floor and one on the third. The house is set on a granite block foundation. The central entrance contains an eight-panel wooden door framed by half sidelights and pilasters decorated by a meander motif, supporting a two-part frieze. Above the lintel are three rectangular panels, that in the center is higher than the others. Corner pilasters support a projecting boxed cornice which returns on the ends. A secondary entrance containing a transomed six-panel doorway is on the south side. A shed dormer and tall brick chimney punctuate the south side of the late gable roof. Extending the south elevation is a 1-1/2 story wing, also set on a granite foundation and with identical pilaster and cornice details. A gabled vestibule provides access on the north side. An additional shorter single story wing is located to the rear of the wing. It has a single garage door opening and a 6/6 window on the north side.
This house was constructed in 1842 for Calvin P. Fairfield.(5)
5A. Garage. c. 1950, Noncontributing building. An angled open gable roofed breezeway extending in a northeasterly direction connects the rear of the barn to a gable roofed two-car garage with a carport to the north. Resting on a concrete foundation, the building has close eaves and 6/6 windows.
6. Dodge House. (11 Union Street), 1840, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded Cape style structure set broadside to the street with a typical 5 x 2 bay configuration. The house is set above a granite block foundation and capped by an asphalt gable roof. A shed roofed porch spans the facade with plain wooden posts above a wooden deck. The central entrance contains a late 19th century door, not original to the house, with a large oval glass with dentil course below. Half sidelights flank the door framed by a fluted surround with cornerblocks. The building's doublehung 2/2 windows are capped by plain lintels with exterior metal storm windows and blinds. A projecting boxed cornice encircles the building with returns on the gable ends. Plain cornerboards rise to a plain frieze under projecting eaves. Offset to the southwest is a 1-1/2 story ell. An entrance on the end facing the street contains a glass and paneled door with an entablature lintel and cornerblock surround. The south slope of the roof is spanned by a continuous shed dormer. The south side of the ell is four bays wide with an additional entry with wooden deck located in the second bay.
Constructed in 1840 for Frederick Dodge.(6)
7. Lamphere House, (15 Union Street), 1854, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story frame and clapboard structure resting on a granite block foundation and set with its three-bay gable front to the street. A single-story hip roofed porch spans the facade, supported by open slotted porch posts with diamond shaped inserts and curvilinear jigsaw work brackets. A wooden ramp leads to the porch. The sidehall entrance contains a glass and panel door flanked by full sidelights with an outer surround comprised of two recessed panels on either side. Windows on the building contain 6/6, doublehung sash with plain surrounds, blinds and exterior storm windows. A secondary entrance is located in the last bay of the south side and contains a four-panel door capped by a transom and gable doorhood. A projecting boxed cornice with plain frieze adorns the building with returns on the ends and pilasters at the corners. A tall brick chimney emerges from the north slope of the gable asphalt roof. A small single-story gable wing is offset to the southwest, set upon a mortared fieldstone foundation.
According to Dorothy Sears, this house was constructed for Benjamin Lamphere in 1854.
7A. Barn, late 19th century, Contributing building. Southwest of the house, set broadside to the street, is a large barn constructed of vertical barnboard. The facade materials have been recently replaced. It has close eaves and an asphalt gable roof.
8. School, (17 Union Street), 1911, Contributing building.
A two-story structure. rectangular in plan, measuring five bays by three bays and facing southward. Typical of the Queen Anne style, the first floor is sheathed in clapboards above a brick foundation while the second floor features a variety of wood shingles including regular, staggered butt, and diamond patterns. The bottom edge of the shingled story flares as it meets the first floor, which is outlined by plain cornerboards and baseboards.
The building is capped by an asphalt roof with projecting eaves and a "frieze" of vertical boards. Projecting from the center of the facade is a jerkinhead roofed wall dormer accenting the central entrance porch below. Supporting the hip roofed porch with central pediment, are turned posts spanned by simple stick balusters. The modern glass double doors are capped by a clear transom and entablature lintel.
Windows on the building contain 2/2 doublehung sash, lip lintels, and exterior storm windows. The wall dormer on the facade contains two window openings covered by closed blinds.
This building was constructed in 1911, after its predecessor, built in 1906, was struck by lightning and burned; its appearance virtually identical except for the porch and steps. The "old² school was closed in 1958 when the Barnes School was opened. Since the consolidation of Lyme Schools in 1959, the old school rooms have again been fully occupied.(7)
8A. Barnes School, (Union Street), 1958, Noncontributing building. East of the "old" School is the Laura Smith Barnes School, a single-story brick constructed in 1958. Capped by a low gable roof, T111 siding fills the gable ends. Brick is laid in a bond alternating four rows of stretcher brick to a single row alternating stretchers and headers. A covered area supported by metal poles marks the entry at the northeast corner. The facade is decorated by brick piers two bricks wide supporting the projecting roof adorned by varnished applied rafters. The north wall is constructed of concrete blocks.
Construction of this building was made possible by the bequest of George Washington Barnes who died in 1955 and left $100,000 for a public building to be named in memory of his wife, Laura Smith Barnes, on the condition that no matter what the building was used for it be located on the "Old Hotel Lot", site of the Perkins-Warren Hotel which had burned in 1899. The building is used for Town Meetings and other functions.(8)
Noncontributing within the district owing to its recent date of construction.
9. Hamilton House, (19 Union Street), c. 1802, 1812, Contributing
An important visual anchor on the west side of the Common separated from the main part of the Common by Union Street, the Cyrus Hamilton House is a two-story frame and clapboard structure capped by a rectangular cupola. Resting on a granite block foundation, the main house is five bays wide and four bays deep and faces eastward. Centered on the facade, the elaborate entrance consists of a six-panel door flanked by half sidelights filled with decorative geometric tracery and fitted with louvered blinds. An outer surround of pilasters supporting an entablature frames the door. A two-tier semi-elliptical fanlight caps the entrance. Windows on the building contain doublehung 6/6 sash with a molded surround and slip.sill, and are flanked by blinds and fitted with aluminum storm windows. On the facade four two-story pilasters run from the water table to the frieze, marking the ends of the building and framing the central bay. Beneath the asphalt hip roof an elaborately carved cornice encircles the building consisting of a projecting boxed cornice. decorated by dentils, a rope molding with drilled holes and modillions with holes. The eaves are fitted with copper gutters; copper downspouts are located at the corners of the building.
Projecting from the center of the roof is a hip roofed clapboarded monitor flanked by two large brick chimneys. There are three 6/6 windows on the east side, one each on the north and south sides and two on the west side; those on the east side are flanked by paneled pilasters. A four-panel door centered on the west side opens to the roof. In addition to the main entrance, two secondary entrances are located on the south side. Both doors have six recessed wood panels and are framed by pilasters, supporting a full entablature.
Extending behind the main house is a 1-1/2 story ell which predates the main house and was apparently constructed around 1802. Windows on the ell are a mixture of 6/6, 8/8 and 12/12 sash. A greenhouse partially spans the south side. Offset to the southwest of the ell is a single-story carriage house with a perpendicular gable roof ridge line. On the east side two semi--elliptical arches frame the openings which contain 4 x 3 fixed windows and more modern windows. An enclosed porch spans the north side, other ornament is limited to close eaves and a plain frieze.
The ell portion of this structure was constructed by Dr. Cyrus Hamilton in 1802. The imposing front structure, high Federal in style, dating to 1812, was also built for Dr. Hamilton replacing an earlier version which burned that year as it neared completion.9
The Hamilton House has been attributed to John Tomson Jr. (b. ca. 1783) a local master builder who supervised the erection of the Congregational Church.(10)
10. House, (17 East Thetford Road), 1927, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story frame and clapboard structure measuring three bays wide and three bays deep, set with its gambrel roof end to the street above a stone block foundation. This end is spanned by a single-story porch supported by plain posts with double posts on each end, above a wooden deck. Beneath the porch the central entrance contains a wood and glass door. Centered on the east side is a similar door marked by a gable roofed porch with recessed arch and supported by plain posts. Windows on the building contain 8/1 sash fitted with exterior storm windows, wide entablature lintels and shutters with cutout fleur-de-lis patterns. A boxed cornice with projecting eaves encircles the building. The gambrel roof is covered in asbestos shingles with continuous shed dormers spanning both slopes. A small flat roofed addition constructed of bead board siding is located at the rear of the building.
According to Dorothy Sears the house previously on this site burned in 1927.
10A. Garage, c. 1930, Contributing building. Northeast of the house is a gambrel roofed, clapboarded garage with three folding doors on the gambrel front.
11. Pearsons House, (19 East Thetford Road), 1842, Contributing
A 1-3/4 story clapboard structure set broadside to the street, its five-bay facade broken by a central gable wall dormer containing three second floor window, with a single opening, covered by blinds, in the attic. Windows on the building contain 6/6 doublehung sash capped by entablature lintels and flanked by blinds. The gable ends are both two bays wide.
A small porch with flat roof and plain posts marked the central entrance which contains a four-panel door with sidelights. Plain corner pilasters mark the building corners beneath a projecting boxed cornice with returns. The structure rests on a granite block foundation and is capped by an asphalt roof with a single offcenter shed dormer on the north slope. Extending behind and along the west side is a single-story ell with a transomed four-panel roof above and a porch spans the rear of the ell.
This house was constructed in 1842 for George Pearsons.(11)
11A. Barn, c.1900, Contributing building. Behind the house is a gablefront clapboarded barn capped by a projecting metal roof with three double door openings on the south side and 3 x 2 light fixed windows survive. Framed by close eaves, the clapboards of the gable project slightly from the rest of the wall surface.
12. Gilbert House, (21 East Thetford Road), c. 1855. Contributing
A 1-1/2 story frame and clapboard structure resting above a granite foundation and capped by an asphalt high pitched cross gable roof. The facade measures four bays wide with an offcenter entrance containing a four-panel door flanked by sidelights. It is sheltered by a hip roof porch with jerkin head projection supported by turned posts with decorative brackets and a stick balustrade and frieze. Windows contain 2/1 sash with lipped lintels and are flanked by blinds. Plain pilasters mark the corners of the building, supporting a two-part frieze and a projecting boxed cornice that returns on all of the gables. A single-story addition partially spans the east side and contains a recessed entry. At the rear is a slightly shorter clapboarded wing with 2/2 sash and a large gable wall dormer on the east side.
The main house was constructed for Elam Gilbert c. 1855.(12)
Beyond the wing are an attached barn and attached workbuilding. The barn, capped by a metal gable roof, was resided with board and batten siding in 1980 and the existing door opening was filled with an overhood door. A single doublehung 12/8 window survives on the east side.
12A. Storage Building, 1980, Noncontributing building. Attached to the barn is a large barn-like storage area constructed in 1980 of vertical board siding with a metal gable roof. A single garage door opening is located in the front.
13. Open Space. Noncontributing site.
The only lot around the Common which is empty today. Until 1945, this land contained a house built by Bezer Latham in 1845. In 1945, the state acquired the land with plans to relocate Route 10 and demolished the structure.(13) The lot is currently owned by the state of New Hampshire and serves as a commuter parking lot.
14. Nichols' Hardware Store, (l Main Street) c. 1781, Contributing
Originally serving as the first town meetinghouse, this two-story frame and clapboard structure has seen numerous alterations and two moves (1810, 1974) over its 200+ year history. Set broadside to the street, the structure was originally five bays wide with a single-story porch spanning the facade for much of its life. Today, a modern standing seam shed roofed porch spans the facade supported by thin square posts with a low gable marking the entrance and a single-story enclosed section. At the west end of the porch, projecting beyond the sidewall. Beneath the porch is an offcenter wood and glass door flanked by projecting bay windows above paneled bases. The eastern most bay contains a wide wooden door with three long vertical panels.
On the second story of the facade the original five individual windows have been altered to two joined pairs and two individual 6/6 doublehung windows. The side elevations retain their three bay configuration. A small 6/6 window lights the attic. The sheds and additions which once spanned the rear were removed in 1974 when the building was moved back from the street 40[??] feet to give better car access and parking.(14) A single brick chimney projects from the front slope of the metal roof.
There is a balcony located over a single-story wing (c. 1970) at the rear of the building It has a shed style roof and is supported by four posts. Entry is gained from an enclosed stairway on the east side of the building and through a door on the second floor of the main building.
Extending behind the main building is a single-story addition constructed in 1974 with a flat metal roof. The walls are sheathed in T111 siding above a poured concrete/concrete block foundation. There are two hoods over north and west entrances and a porch over the main aluminum and glass entrance to the store located on the east side. A loading dock and garage door are located at the north end of the building.
The building is bordered by grass on the west side and an asphalt parking area on the east. Gas pumps and a metal Texaco sign suspended from a metal post are located in front of the building.
Although the building especially the rear has been significantly altered since its construction in 1781 the facade still contributes to the historic character of the town setting.
Originally located in the cemetery on Route 10, this structure served as town hall and church for nearly 30 years until the construction of the present Congregational Church at which time (1810) it was moved to its present location. The building has served as a store continuously since 1810. The upper story served as Town Hall from 1810 to 1920.(15)
14A. Garage c. 1900 with c. 1970 addition, Noncontributing building. Located northeast of the store is a large two-bay garage covered in clapboards with a rolled asphalt gable roof. The building is outlined by cornerboards and a projecting boxed cornice. A fixed 3 x 2 pane window lights the attic. An addition to the north constructed of T-111 siding with a metal roof furnishes two additional bays.
15. Guy House (3 Main Street) 1885 Contributing building.
A 1-1/2 story frame and clapboard structure which differs from others around the Common in terms of its late 19th century construction date and its unusual shape and massing. The house is set above a granite block foundation. and its broad side measures five bays wide with a high kneewall facing the street.
A broad gable wall dormer containing three windows breaks the roofline and dominates the facade. The central entrance is marked by a flat roofed entrance porch supported by chamfered posts above a wooden deck. The sides of the porch are enclosed by boards. Small blocks decorate the porch frieze. Inside the porch is a wooden door with double arched glass panes and an unusual shaped surround decorated by three bulls eyes. First-floor windows contain elongated doublehung 2/2 windows fitted with exterior storm windows. Smaller 2/2 windows fill the wall dormer. Plain cornerboard. give rise to boxed projecting eaves with a wide. plain frieze. The cornice returns on the ends. A three-sided single-story bay window is located on each of the end elevations. decorated by a boxed cornice with dentil.
At the rear is a 1-1/2 story ell resting on a granite block and field.stone foundation with a gable roof punctuated by four gable dormers. A single story porch enclosed with louvered glass windows above clapboard siding spans the east side. The enclosing of the porch and dormer additions on the ell date to about 1920.
15A. Garage, c. 1920, Contributing building. Located northwest of the house is a 1-1/2 story clapboarded garage with double swinging doors on its gable front, a 2/2 side window and a rear ridge chimney piercing the asphalt roof.
This house was constructed in 1884 by William and Nellie Thompson Guy. It was sold to Frances B. Homes in 1891 and to Mrs. George Randlett in 1907.(16)
16. Latham House, (5 Main Street), c. 1790 & later,
A 2-1/2 story frame and clapboard structure resting on a stone foundation and set with its five-bay facade broadside to the street; the gable ends measure two bays wide. The roof, covered in rolled roofing, is punctuated by two thin interior corbel cap brick chimneys. The central entrance is marked by a flat-roofed porch capped by a decorative cast iron railing and supported by smooth Roman Doric columns. Sidelights flank the exterior storm door. The wooden front door, with eight vertical and horizontal panels, is flanked.by partial sidelights, pilasters and a fluted surround. Above the entrance porch is a modern glass and wood door. Remaining openings on the building contain doublehung 2/2 windows with exterior storm windows, blinds and simple surrounds. A plain boxed projecting cornice with narrow frieze surrounds the structure, ending in returns on the gable ends.
Extending behind the main house and aligned with the east side of the house is a 2-1/2 story ell capped by an asphalt covered hip roof with irregular 2/2 windows and five entries: four on the first floor and one on the second. A single-story porch enclosed with louvered glass windows span.much of the east side.
An L-shaped series of three different attached barns sheathed in clapboards with gable roofs and plain projecting eaves is offset t o the northwest of the ell. Each was built at a different time.
16A. Barn #1, c. 1790(?), Contributing building. Offset to the northwest of the ell with a ridge line parallel with the main house, constructed of clapboards with an asphalt covered gable roof. A single shed wall dormer punctuates the south slope with two additional dormers on the north and a brick interior chimney to the west. Windows have been set into the former arched door surround. Modern alterations include large windowed areas on the southwest side, featuring a mixture of window types including doublehung 12/12 sash,transoms and casements. A garage occupies the southwest corner with an arched door opening on the end of the facade. Close eaves and a fieldstone foundation are visible on the side elevation.
16B. Barn #2, c. 1900(?), Contributing building. Set perpendicular to Barn #1, this clapboarded barn is slightly taller than Barn #l with its close eaves peak barely visible over the roof of Barn #1. The lateral eaves have exposed rafters. A wide baseboard and plain cornerboards outline the structure.
16C Barn #3, date unknown, Contributing building. Extending from the rear of Barn #2, though slightly lower and less wide. Constructed of barnboard, hinged doors provide access on the west side.
16D. Smokehouse, date unknown, Contributing building. Directly north of the ell is a 6' x l 0' x 8' smokehouse constructed of once whitewashed brick laid in an English bond. Its medium pitched gable roof is covered in cedar shingles.
16E. Honeymoon House, c. 1920, Contributing building. Located at the northeast corner of the property is a small two story 2 x 2 bay clapboarded structure, square in plan, capped by a high pitch gable roof. Windows on the building contain 6/6 sash with semi-circular trim over the front (west)windows. The main entry contains a glass and wood door capped by an aluminum hood. Nicknamed the Honeymoon Cottage by its owner, this structure was constructed c. 1920.(17) Set on an earth foundation without a chimney or insulation.
In 1785, Jonathan Conant purchased this lot along with much of what is now Lyme Plain, a parcel of 47 acres, from Daniel Howard for £150. It appears that Conant built an earlier house on the site. In 1793, he sold the property to his nephew, Arthur Latham, who probably was responsible for the construction of the present house. Latham was considered the wealthiest man in town at the time of his death in 1843.(18) The house was used as an inn during the mid 1900's, operated under various names including "The Silver Lining" and "The Colony Inn".
17. Lyme Country Store, (7 Main Street), 1980, Noncontributing
A 2-1/2 story pediment fronted structure sheathed in clapboards, resting above a concrete foundation. The facade, measuring three bays wide, is spanned by a recessed porch supported by plain posts. The central entrance contains modern double doors and is flanked by a double hung 8/8 picture window on each side. Smaller 8/8 windows are located on the rest of the building, excepting a 6/6 window in the attic pediment, capped by a six-part fanlight window. The ridge of the standing seam metal roof is punctuated by a single corbel cap chimney. A plain boxed cornice encircles the building. A covered exterior staircase, giving access to the second floor, is attached to the east side of the building. Extending behind the main building is a single-story wing. A gable hood at the rear of the east side shelters a set of double doors.
In front of the building is an asphalt parking lot with gas pumps.
In 1980, the original Lyme Country Store, constructed by 1785, by Jonatham [sic] Conant burned and was replaced by the present structure based largely on the design of the original, as interpreted by local architect. Don Metz.
Despite its compatibility with the other structures in the district, this building is noncontributing with the district by virtue of its recent date of construction.
17A. Garage, c. 1980, Noncontributing building. Located northeast of the store is a small clapboarded garage with a wide door on its pediment end and an asphalt roof.
18. Judge Churchill House, (9 Main Street), c. 1850, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story gable fronted frame and clapboard structure dominated by the later addition of a single story porch encircling the facade and west (side) elevation. Measuring three bays square, the house is set on a stone foundation and capped by an asphalt gable roof punctuated by a single offcenter brick chimney. The aforementioned porch, added c. 1893 by owner, George Melvin, is supported by turned posts and decorated by a spindle frieze, turned balusters and fancy brackets. The southwest corner of the porch is marked by a conical roof. The offcenter entrance contains double doors, with two panels and one window each, flanked by a plain surround and covered by a late 19th century wooden screen door. Next to the entrance is a three-sided bay window. Remaining windows on the building contain doublehung 2/2 sash with blinds and exterior 2/2 wooden storm windows. A gable wall dormer punctuates the west roof slope. Plain pilasters support projecting eaves which return with a plain frieze below. A triangular fan fills the top of the facade gable.
Extending behind is a single story wing with a single story porch (partially enclosed) spanning the east side, supported by open slotted porch posts with inset almond shaped pieces above rectangular bases. The attached barn is sheathed in vertical barnboard siding with sliding doors opening on the east side.
Known as the "second" Churchill House to differentiate it from the earlier structure (see #49) built in 1818, this house was built for Judge D.C. Churchill in 1850.(19)
19. Old Cemetery, (west side of Route 10), 1786, Contributing
Located at the northwest junction of the Common and Pleasant Streets and across the road and to the north of the Congregational Church, the Old Cemetery occupies an irregularly shaped polygonal shaped area roughly 500 feet square. A gravel access road cuts through the cemetery, commencing along the property line east of property #18 and extending northward to a point west of the hearse house (#19A) where it continues eastward to meet Pleasant Street. The grassy cemetery lot rolls slightly downhill to the northwest. A stone wall marks the western property line near the Common. A simple wooden fence featuring three horizontal boards spanning between wooden posts marks the rest of the cemetery border. A number of pine trees along the fence provide shade in the western portion and along the back lot line. A few additional pine trees grow in the center of the cemetery. Simple gravestones arranged in north-south rows predominate supplemented by an occasional obelisk monuments and a family tomb. The earliest stones, dating to the 18th and early 19th century are those in the southern part of the cemetery and include a number of Revolutionary War Veterans. North of the hearse house the stones primarily date to the late 19th and 20th centuries.
The cemetery did not come into being until after the construction of the meetinghouse in 1781. Reportedly, the land for the burying ground was given to the Town by Colonel Ebenezer Green although there is no deed to confirm that. Green helped clear the old growth pine out of the area. In addition to serving as the Town's first representative to the General Court in 1771 and on the Committee of Safety in 1771 he was the first person to be buried in the graveyard in 1786.(20)
19A. Hearse House, (west side of Pleasant Street), 1881, Contributing building. John C. Piper,builder . Located opposite the brick lockup and granite tomb, in the old (1786) cemetery is this small windowless clapboarded structure set gablefront to Route 10. Set upon a dry fieldstone foundation it is capped by an asphalt gable roof with projecting eaves. Vertical board double doors provide access to the building which was constructed in 1881 as a hearse house, replacing an earlier smaller hearse house. (21)
20. Balch House, (9 Pleasant Street), 1840, Contributing
A 2-1/2 story clapboarded structure with a facade measuring five bays wide and resting on a granite block foundation. The central entrance contains a four-panel door flanked by partial four light sidelights and cornerblocks with an outer surround of fluted pilasters supporting an entablature lintel with two part frieze. Windows on the building contain doublehung 6/6 sash with simple surrounds and blinds. Two windows and a four-panel door capped by a low peaked lintel are located on the first floor of the south side. Plain cornerboards rise to a boxed cornice with projecting eaves, a plain frieze and deep returns on the gable ends. An offcenter brick chimney rises from the ridge of the asphalt roof. At the rear is a 1-1/2 story ell, flush with the south side of the main house and resting on a granite foundation. The ell steps down owing to the hilly site exposing a lower level and double doors at the rear. Windows on the structure contain 6/6 sash. Lateral eaves have a boxed projecting cornice while the gable end has close eaves. An open hip roofed porch is located on the north side, supported by chamfered posts with curvilinear brackets and a stick balustrade.
This house was built for Samuel W. Balch (1803-1889).
20A. Carriage House, c. 1850-1900, Contributing building. A small clapboarded building located behind the main house, capped by a sheet metal roof displaying close eaves with plain fascia. A sliding door is located on the west side, two 3 x 2 fixed pane windows light the south and board and batten siding covers the east side. According to Mr. Ralph W. Balch, as indicated by the large timbers, part of this structure appears to be quite old or may suggest that materials were reused. Originally open on two sides,.the building was made wider over the years to accommodate larger cars.(22)
20B. Chicken House #1, c. 1905, Contributing building. A long rectangular clapboarded structure capped by a sheetmetal gable roof. Two square wooden ventilators rise from the roof ridge midway between the central brick chimney and ends of structure. The south side has been covered in shiplap siding and contains nine separate windows with six panes each. A vertical board swinging door is located on the east side.
20C. Horse Barn, c. 1800 & later, Contributing building. A two story clapboarded structure with a high pitch gable roof of sheet metal and a fieldstone foundation. The south side is sheathed in wood shingles. A vertical board sliding door is located on the gable front as is a 9/6 window lighting the attic. Cornerboards, a watertable, close gable eaves and open eaves on the lateral side outline the structure. A six pane fixed window lights the north side.
Spanning much of the north side is a shed roofed chaise addition used to store the wagon. It is constructed of wide horizontal planks on the north side, clapboard sheathing on the west and vertical board sheathing above a vertical board swinging door on the east side. The roof is also covered in sheet metal. According to Ralph Balch, this horse barn was constructed c. 1800 by his great grandfather and may have been moved c. 1900.
20D. Balch House, c. 1799, Contributing building. West of the present main house and set back from the road is the original house on the property, a 1-1/2 story clapboarded cape style structure measuring 6 x 3 bays, resting on a fieldstone foundation. The main offcenter entrance is located on the east side and contains a four panel door with three doublehung 2/2 windows to the south and two to the north. Additional entrances, consisting of four panel doors capped by transom lights and splayed lintels are located on the west and south elevations. In addition to the doublehung 2/2 window form which predominates, there are small.garret windows lighting the south gable end and one (original) 6/6 window on the west side. All have simple surrounds, most have blinds. The roof is covered in corrugated metal (c. 1970) with a single offcenter brick ridge chimney. A boxed projecting cornice with a cyma recta molding decorates the building. Gable ends have close eaves.
According to Mr. Balch the south part of the house is older, constructed c. 1799 with the room north of the east door added later. Research by Dorothy Sears indicates that the building was constructed c. 1774 by Isaiah Howard or Joshua Cook and was subsequently moved c. 1790 when Isaac Balch bought this property.(23)
To the northeast a large cottonwood tree shades the building. It was brought here from Minnesota in 1878. .An ell to the house containing the kitchen has been removed (date?) and was according to the owner used to construct one of the hen houses. This house has been vacant since 1934.
20E. Chicken House #2 c. 1905, Contributing building. A long narrow clapboarded building similar to Chicken House #1 (B) except there is no chimney it is shorter in length and the roof is sheathed in wood and asphalt shingles. An additional chicken house which stood next to this one has been removed.
20F. Barn 1800 and later, Contributing building. A large rectangular structure spanned on the south side by a shed addition and a small rectangular extension at the southwest corner. Resting on a fieldstone foundation the south side is constructed of vertical board siding with nine 3 x 3 fixed pane windows; the extension is sheathed in wood shingles and the west side is covered in board and batten siding with a large central vertical board sliding door. The north side is constructed of wide planks. The projecting gable roof is sheathed in sheet metal; the overhang is supported by simple brackets.
According to Mr. Balch this barn consists of three buildings the earliest section dating to 1800. Two sections were put together in 1917 with the last part added in 1938-40.
21. Worth House, (11 Pleasant Street) 1821 Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure measuring 5 x 2 bays and resting on a granite block foundation. Centered on the facade is a gable wall dormer containing three windows. Below the central entrance contains a six panel door flanked by half sidelights with recessed panels beneath. The top of the entablature doorframe has been cut off by the roof of the porch spanning part of the facade. It is supported by turned posts with a plain spindle balustrade and curvilinear brackets. Windows on the building contain doublehung 2/2 sash. A three-sided bay window is located on the south side. Cornerboards give rise to cornice returns and a plain frieze under the projecting eaves of the asphalt roof. An exterior brick chimney rises along the north wall.
Extending behind is a 1-1/2 story ell resting on a fieldstone foundation. Unlike the main building eaves on the ell are close. An enclosed porch spans the south side. Double doors set into an elliptical arch are located on the south side; a shed addition extends from the north side ending in a screened-in porch.
According to research by Dorothy Sears, this house was built in 1821 by Samuel Worth.(24)
21A. Garage, c. 1920-50), Noncontributing building. Southwest of the house is a long, narrow concrete block building set broadside to the street. Its low gable roof is covered in sheet metal although fire damage in 1987 has left the roof falling in. The building is open on the north side.
22A. Open Space, Noncontributing site. This frontage along Pleasant Street (Route 10) is currently vacant and cleared.
The land upon which #22B & C were recently constructed upon was recently subdivided from the property. Initially the parcel consisted of over a hundred acres. This frontage acts as the access way for a house located further back on the lot. Due to its distance from the road, the house was purposely excluded from the district although the frontage along Rt.10 was included for the sake of continuity.
22B. Storage Building, 1987, Noncontributing building. Construction of this large two story storage building was begun in 1987 and continues in 1988. Set parallel to the street, the building is sheathed in vertical boards and is capped by a gambrel metal standing seam roof. A square ventilator with pyramidal roof rises from the center of the roof. On the southern end of the facade a gambrel wall dormer three bays across defines the entrance which consists of double doors capped by a blind fan. Four additional bays are located next to the gambrel section. The upper story is lit by doublehung 6/6 windows.
22C. Storage Building, 1987, Noncontributing building. Behind the main building and oriented perpendicular to it is an additional storage building. Sheathed in vertical boards and capped by an asphalt gable roof, the warehouse is windowless. A projecting gable roofed entrance is located on the south side.
23. Latham House, (19 Pleasant Street), c. 1820, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story brick structure measuring 3 x 5 bays, facing south with an entryless gable end to the street. The brick is laid in a common bond alternating eight rows of stretchers to a single row of headers and stretchers. Windows on the building contain doublehung 2/2 sash with blinds. Those facing the street have wooden sills and granite lintels, while on the facade, lintels are painted onto the brick. The central entrance contains a six panel door with stone lintel and stone steps. A concrete open porch is located in front of the entrance. According to the owner, a "Victorian" porch once fronted the entrance.(25)
A continuous shed dormer spans the south roof slope. Covered in vinyl siding, it is a later addition and contains small paired 6/6 windows. A brick chimney rises from the west ridge of the house. A projecting boxed cornice surrounds the building, with deep cornice returns on the street side and close eaves with a 2/2 window and fixed small six light window on the west side. A single shed dormer punctuates the north slope.
Extending westward is a clapboarded single story wing resting on a fieldstone foundation. Originally little more than a shed, it has been rehabilitated and now contains paired 8/8 windows. A shed addition spans the west end.
Constructed c. 1820 for Bezer Latham, who bought the land in that year. With his brother Arthur Jr. Latham operated a store on the Nichols Store site until 1847 when Bezer went to Missouri where he lived until his death in 1863. Later owners of this property (later known as "Crossroads") included Dr. Abraham Dickey, John Kent and John Howland. Mrs. Howland sold the tract to Sidney Converse in 1891 (who gave Converse Free Library to the Town).(26)
A successful dairy farmer, Converse was also moderator, selectman and master of the Grange for many years. In later years, the farm has been well known for its horses.
23A. Barn, 1893, Contributing building. Herbert Converse, builder. A large late 19th century clapboarded barn set gable end to the street, fronted by a grass ramp. The large central door is capped by transom lights and supplemented by 3 x 3 fixed windows. Continuous windows of this configuration light the first floor and basement on the south side with fewer windows on the north side. The roof is covered in sheet metal and displays projecting eaves. According to the local history, this barn was built by Herbert Converse of Claremont in 1893. Constructed of spruce from the Reservoir Pond area, it featured a barn floor and stable on the same level and a basement underneath. The building is forty-five feet wide and 98 feet long. Each 8 x 8 is one long timber with no bark. Two 8 x 8's were spliced to make timbers for the length of the barn. The rafters, also debarked, are 33' long.(27)
23B. Shed, c. 1910, Contributing building. South of the barn is a small shiplap outbuilding with a rolled asphalt shed roof.
23C. Garage, c. 1920, Contributing building. South of the house is a frame garage structure consisting of a gable front section to the west and cross gable section extending to the east. Sheathed in horizontal boards, it is capped by a sheet metal roof.
24. Cutting House, (18 Pleasant Street), 1845, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story gablefronted structure sheathed in asphalt siding over clapboards. A single story porch spans the front of the house supported by Roman Doric columns set on a low wall. Double french doors provide access to the house with 2/2 windows to the side. Cornice returns decorate the gable front and a wide watertable surrounds the building. The south side of the house is three bays wide. A central porch, marked by a pediment porch and supported by Doric columns projects from the south side.
Projecting from the north side of the house is a two bay wide addition resting on a concrete faced foundation. Two double hung 2/2 windows light the first floor; a single 9/6 window survives in the attic, framed by deep cornice returns, spanning the rear of the main house is a single story shed-roofed section ending in an open porch.
24A. Barn, late 19th century, Contributing building. Northeast of the house is a 19th century barn constructed of vertical barnboard and capped by an asphalt roof. A sliding door is located on the gable front. A shed addition spans the north side.
25. Whipple House, (16 Pleasant Street), 1869, Contributing
A l-1/2 story clapboarded gambrel-roofed structure resting on a combination concrete and granite block foundation, set with its entryless two bay end to the street. Treated as the facade, the south side measures five bays wide with a central entrance capped by transom lights. A flat roofed porch spans this side, supported by turned posts with a plain stick balustrade and latticed airspace below the wooden deck. Two shed dormers punctuate each slope of the gambrel roof. The building is outlined by a wooden watertable, plain cornerboards, projecting eaves and cornice returns. An exterior brick chimney rises along the east wall.
Behind the house are two gabled wings ending in an attached barn. The wing closest to the house is capped by a gable roof with shed dormers extending along both sides. Fenestration includes a picture window and other modern windows upstairs. The rear wing is capped by a low asphalt gable roof. In addition to a vertical door and a garage door which has been added, there are several fixed 4 x 3 and 4 x 2 windows. The taller barn, with close eaves, contains two garage openings. The rear is covered in asphalt shingles.
The house was constructed in 1869 by Lucy Whipple.(28)
26. Woodward House, (14 Pleasant Street), c. 1953, Noncontributing
A long narrow single story structure sheathed in wide textured board siding set broadside to the street above a concrete foundation, capped by a low gable asphalt roof with close eaves. A screened porch connects the house to a single car clapboarded garage with a gable constructed of T111 siding.
Non-contributing within the district due to its recent date of construction.
27. Bixby House, (12 Pleasant Street), 1819, Contributing
A 2-1/2 story clapboarded structure measuring 5 x 2 bays above a mortared fieldstone foundation. The central entrance contains a four panel door fronted by wooden steps and flanked by a surround featuring cornerblocks and half sidelights with recessed panels below. A two tier elliptical louvered fanlight with exterior molding caps the doorway. First floor windows contain doublehung 2/1 windows with plain surrounds and blinds. Those on the second floor contain 2/2 sash and on the facade extend to the projecting boxed cornice. A beveled wooden watertable surrounds the building. Plain cornerboards mark the building corners with cornice returns on the gable ends. An offcenter brick chimney punctuates the asphalt roof, and an exterior staircase is located at the northeast corner of the rear of the building.
Extending behind is a single story ell, five bays wide with an added bay at the end. The central four panel door (its transom removed) is flanked by a joined pair of 2/2 windows to one side and an individual window on the other side. Most of the ell is fronted by a shed roofed porch supported by plain posts above a wooden deck. Attached to the end of the ell, with parallel ridge lines is a single story carriage house. The double door opening on the south side is capped by an elliptical frame with keystone. Additional openings include two vertical doors and an 8/8 window. Eaves on the structure are close, without overhang and suggest a relatively early date of construction.
This house was constructed in 1819 by Serel Bixby, according to research by Dorothy Sears.(30) In addition to making coffins, Bixby also set and filed a woodsaw and made repairs to the winnowing mill for the Town in 1853.(31)
28. Garage. (east side of Pleasant Street) date unknown,
A single story commercial garage structure constructed of vertical board and batten metal siding, resting on a concrete block foundation. The low gable roof is sheathed in sheet metal. Two garage openings and a horizontally paneled five panel door provide access on the building front. Window openings on the side elevations contain large 4 x 4 fixed pane metal windows. At the rear is a small wooden board and batten addition; the southeast corner is devoted to a covered loading dock.
29. Boardman House, (10 Pleasant Street), 1843, Contributing
A 1-3/4 story clapboarded structure measuring 5 x 2 bays set broadside to the street above a concrete faced-stone foundation. A gable wall dormer dominates the facade, containing three window openings on the second floor and a single opening in the attic. The central entrance contains a wooden door with eight raised panels flanked by half sidelights and a recessed panelled surround with corner blocks. Projecting panels fill the area below the sidelights and brick stairs front the doorway. Windows on the building contain doublehung 2/2 sash with plain surrounds and blinds. A beveled wooden water table surrounds the building, plain cornerboards rise to cornice returns on the ends. Beneath the projecting eaves is a plain frieze. On the north side of the house, the brick foundation is exposed by the hilly lot. A four panel door and 12/8 window survive on this side. Beneath the projecting eaves is a plain frieze.
A single story ell above a fieldstone foundation joins the main house and gable fronted attached barn at the rear. The ell is partially faced in plywood and vertical flushboard with 6/6 windows and a modern door. The barn constructed of board and batten siding with a gable asphalt roof with projecting eaves, features a sliding door and hayloft opening on the main (south side). On the north side is a single 9/6 window and sliding door. The barn also rests on a fieldstone foundation.
The house was constructed in 1843 by Hannah Haskell Boardman.(32)
30. Open Space, Noncontributing site.
A vacant cleared lot with a steep embankment rising from the road level. Historically this parcel was probably used as grazing land and owned in conjunction with property #20. Due to the lack of significant landscape features or historic structures this site has been designated noncontributing within the district.
31. Balch House, (8 Pleasant Street), 1841, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure resting on a concrete-faced foundation and set gable end to the street. The facade measuring four bays across, is spanned by a single story flat roofed porch supported by shingled square posts resting on a low shingled wall. The third bay contains a horizontal panelled and glass door. Windows on the first floor of the building contain 6/1 doublehung sash with plain surrounds while those upstairs contain 2/2 sash. Plain cornerboards support a boxed projecting cornice with returns on the facade, decorated by a plain frieze. At the rear of the house the eaves are close. An offcenter brick chimney punctuates the asphalt roof. A single story wing extends the sidewalls of the house. Notable details include a high pitched roof, 12/8 window and sliding door. The back wall is sheathed in horizontal barnboard and tarpaper.
This house was constructed in 1841 by Frances Balch according to research by Dorothy Sears.(33)
31A. Sugarhouse/shed, date unknown, Contributing building. Southeast of the house is a clapboarded structure, formerly serving as a sugarhouse. It is set broadside to the street and lit by two windows with fixed 3 x 2 panes. A clapboarded cupola rises from the rolled asphalt roof. An enclosed shed addition spans the south side with an open shed on the east. The building now serves as storage.
32. House, (6 Pleasant Street), by 1910, Contributing
A two story frame structure sheathed in aluminum siding above a concrete foundation and capped by an asphalt gambrel roof. Set with its gambrel (west) end to the street, the sidehall entrance to the house contains a glass and panelled door flanked by two doublehung 2/2 windows with plain surrounds. The first floor of the south side contains three windows above which a shed dormer is centered on the roof A gambrel roofed wing extends behind with a porch spanning the south side. Fenestration on the wing echoes the 2/2 window form and panelled and glass door
According to Dorothy Sears, this house was moved from Plott Hill in 1910.(34)
32A. Garage, c. 1970), Noncontributing building. Southeast of the main house is a gable roofed two car garage constructed of T111 siding.
33. Dyke House, (4 Pleasant Street), 1940, Noncontributing
A 1-1/2 story frame structure sheathed in asphalt siding above a concrete block foundation and capped by an asphalt roof. On the broad facade the offcenter entrance contains a horizontally panelled and glass door flanked by a 2/2 window to the north and two windows on the other side. Located on the south side is an additional offcenter entrance with two 2/2 windows and a casement attic window. An exterior brick chimney is centered on the rear wall. Plain cornerboards and cornice returns outline the building.
Constructed in 1940 by Leslie Dyke.(35)
34. Dyke House, (2 Pleasant Street), 1898, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure resting on a low fieldstone foundation atop a low hill. The house is set with its entryless three bay gable end to the street. The main entrance is centered on the south elevation which also measures three bays wide, with a high kneewall space above the first floor windows. The glass and horizontal panelled wooden door is set into a plain surround. Windows contain 2/2 doublehung sash with simple surrounds. A single window lights the attic, framed by projecting eaves and a plain frieze supported by simple cornerboards. Long shed dormers span both sides of the asphalt roof, containing three windows to a side. A slightly shorter wing connects the main house to a clapboarded garage at the rear. On the south side, the wing contains an offcenter entrance with two flanking windows and is fronted by a screened shed roof porch. The attached garage rests on a concrete block foundation and features two double doors and a 4 x 2 fixed pane window.
This house was constructed in 1898 by Henry Dyke.(36)
35A. Lock-up, (east side Pleasant Street), 1893, Contributing
A small single story brick structure situated gable end to the street above a stone foundation, across from the cemetery. Brick is laid in a bond alternating five stretchers to one row of headers and stretchers. A single opening, containing a vertical plank door capped by a brick flat arch lintel, is located on the facade. At the top of the gable, beneath the plain boxed eaves which overhang the walls the bricks are laid on edge. The gable roof is sheathed in cedar shingles. A single 2/2 window is located on both the north and south sides, covered with iron bars.
The most recent town building constructed on the common land, this small structure is known locally as the jail or tramp house and in town records as the lock-up. Such a building had been considered as early as 1884, but it was not until 1893, after a particularly unruly prisoner at the July 4th celebration the year before that it wad built. The structure, with two wooden cells, cost less than $150. Since about 1940, prisoners have been taken to Hanover and for the next twenty or so years, the building was used as a tramp house.(37) Also in this vicinity was the original town pound.(38)
35B. Tomb/Vault, (east side Pleasant Street), 1835, Contributing
Built into a hillside opposite the old cemetery and south of the lock-up, this tomb is constructed of large granite blocks. A rectangular shaped block acts as a base for a hinged iron door flanked by granite posts supporting a large semicircular granite cap. Retaining walls of drylaid fieldstone are located to each side.
In 1832, the Town hired Captain John Hall to build a receiving tomb north of the horsesheds. It was completed in 1835 and cost the town $145. Because graves were dug by hand then and frozen ground made the task difficult, the tomb was used to keep the bodies of those who died during the winter.(39)
36. Lyme Congregational Church, (1 John Tomson Way), c. 1808-1811,
Contributing building. John Tomson, Jr., Builder.
Standing on a small triangle of land off the northeast corner of the Common, bordered by Dorchester Road, Main Street and .John Tomson Way, the Lyme Congregational Church is the visual anchor of the Lyme Common district. An outstanding example of the Federal style, this clapboarded church has remained essentially unchanged since it was dedicated in 1812. Situated with its flushboard pediment and facing the Common, a three bay wide hipped roofed pavilion projects from the facade, punctuated by a three stage tower, square in plan. The pavilion facade contains three entrances. The two outer entrances contain six-panel doors capped by rolled, colored glass fanlights and framed by pilasters with entasis which supports a cornice elaborated by triglyphs and incised modillions. The central entrance displays similar detailing, though it is slightly taller and contains double leaf, eight-panel doors.
Above the central entrance, the second story is lit by a Palladian window decorated by intersecting tracery, flanked by paneled pilasters and capped by a central keystone decorated by bead moldings. To each side is a doublehung 20/20 window, a window form which predominates on the building. Those on the second floor are capped by semicircular panels.
Located above the Palladian window is a small pediment from which the three-stage tower rises. The tall first stage is clapboarded and contains a circular clock face on each of the four sides. The projecting cornice is decorated by brackets. The second stage is sheathed in horizontal flushboards with double leaf louvered blinds on each side topped by a louvered semicircular fan. This level is capped by a panelled wall. Covered in clapboards with cornerblocks, the third stage is also capped by a low panelled wall and acts as a base for a copper sheathed octagonal dome topped by a large ball and spindle weathervane and four corner pyramidal pinnacles. The dome was gold leafed until it was painted black in World War II.
The main body of the building features simple cornerboards supporting a projecting boxed cornice elaborated by a rope molding. The gable roof is covered with asphalt shingles; the foundation is constructed of granite blocks.
The side elevation, are each six bays wide. The last bay on the east side contains a transomed entrance above a flight of stairs, sheltered by a shed roof. The rear elevation is decorated by cornice returns and is four bays wide with an offcenter exterior brick chimney. A centrally located rear entry consists of double four-panel door, flanked by pilasters supporting a full entablature.
Constructed between 1808 and 1811, according to plans by Salmon Washburn, under the direction of local master builder, John Tomson, Jr., the church was financed largely by the sale of pews under the auspices of the Lyme Meeting House Association. Like the horse sheds, the church was built on common land. Dedicated in 1812, the church bell was hung in 1814, funded by a town-wide levy, a joint church and town effort. In 1846, plans were made to divide the church into two floors; work was completed in 1858. The clock in the steeple dates to 1921. Community organizations housed in the building over the years include the Turner Social Library (1858-1909), town meeting from 1920 to 1957, and the Morning Star Grange since 1899.(40)
West of the church are two maple seedlings, fronted by bronze plaques mounted on polished granite rectangular stones. That to the north reads "With thanks to Lucy King 1896-1985 Lyme's Historian who has striven for years to keep John Tomson's memory alive". The southern plaque is "in memory of J. Tomson Jr. 1783-18?? Builder of the Great Lyme Congregational Church 1808-1811 and great great great great grandson of John Tomson who built the first church in Plimouth Colony".
36A. Lyme Congregational Church Horse Sheds, (John Tomson Way), 1810-1814, Contributing building. A continuous line of 27 individual horse stalls, each with an arched opening. Above an earth foundation. the sheds are constructed of vertical wood plank siding painted red. The saltbox roof is sheathed in wood shingles, on the front slope with the longer rear slope covered in metal. Above each stall is a numbered plaque with the owner's name.
Built by John Tomson, Sr. while his son was building the Congregational Church, the horse sheds were erected on town land with only the stalls themselves, without land, sold to individuals.(41) Not only were the sheds used on Sundays, but whenever their owners came into town on business or a visit. Originally, there were two additional lines or sheds, for a total of about 50 sheds. One line of about 12 (known as the red horse sheds) ran in a southeasterly direction behind the brick schoolhouse (demolished about 1914) with another group of ten, known as the white horse sheds, running in an east line where the house at Dorchester Road now stands. The row of 27 sheds is the longest line of contiguous sheds in New England and possibly in the United States.(42) The shed, underwent restoration in 1987.
37. Lyme House, (2 John Tomson Way), c. 1850, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story frame and clapboarded structure set above a concrete foundation with an asphalt gable roof. The gablefront faces westward, made asymmetrical by the recent addition of a shed roofed section to the west side continuing a recessed entrance. As originally constructed, the facade measured three bays wide with a sidehall entrance containing a wooden and glass door. Windows on the facade contain 6/6 doublehung sash with simple lintels and blinds. A triangular vent is located at the top of the facade beneath a projecting cornice with deep returns. The side elevations are four bays deep and contain small 8/8 windows. At the rear of the building the eaves cling to the wall.
Constructed for use as a coffin shop by W. J. Piper, this building was moved in 1917 to its present location and served as the telephone house until 1924.(43) It was preceded on the site by the brick Lyme Plain School, built in 1812 and demolished in 1914.
38. Piper House (1 Dorchester Road), 1887, Contributing
A simple 1-1/2 story frame and clapboarded structure with some original 19th century material augmented by extensive alterations dating to 1972. The main house is set with its two-bay wide gable front facing the street, bisected by an exterior brick chimney (1972). A shed addition (1972) spans the west side, lit by three large picture windows. Remaining windows on the building are primarily 6/6 doublehung. Entry is through a modern glass and wood door in the northwest corner. The original entrance has been blocked. Simple cornerboards and a plain frieze surround the building beneath the projecting eaves of the asphalt shingled roof. A flat roofed section connects the main house and rear barn and is lit by 1/1 windows. Constructed of board and batten siding, the barn is capped by a high pitch gable roof with an attached shed extending westward, ending in a single vertical board garage at the west, added in 1972. A .saltbox roof caps the shed and garage .
Constructed in 1887 by Walter J. Piper.(44) Though extensively renovated in 1972, this simple clapboarded structure retains much of its original character.
38A. Shed, date unknown, Contributing building. Located northeast of the house is a gable roofed outbuilding constructed of clapboards with a rolled asphalt roof, boxed cornice and fixed 4 x 3 pane windows.
39. Grant's Hotel, (14 Market Street), c. 1809, Contributing
Known over the years as Grant's Hotel and Alden's Tavern, the Lyme Inn is a 3-1/2 story frame and clapboarded structure located between Dorchester Road and Market Street facing the Common to the west. Measuring five bays wide and four bays deep, the structure is set above a stone block foundation and capped by an asphalt gable roof punctuated by four tall interior corbel cap brick chimneys, A single-story flat roofed enclosed porch with continuous windows spans the facade. "Colonial Revival" in style, it is sheathed in wide clapboards with double glass doors surrounded by sidelights, transoms and capped by a rectangular keystone. Sheltered by the porch, the original entrance survives within, containing a seven-panel wooden door flanked by half sidelights with an outer surround of pilasters decorated by a meander motif. Centered on the central bay of the front facade is a central deeply pitched pediment supported by four large posts enclosing a steel fire escape. Underneath the porch on the second floor is an additional doorway flanked by transoms and pilasters displaying a meander motif like that seen on the front door. Windows on the building contain doublehung 6/6 sash with simple surrounds, blinds and exterior storm windows. At the corners of the building, double corner pilasters span between a plain wide water table and the two-part frieze which surrounds the building beneath projecting eaves. Extending behind tho building is a two-story ell set above a mortared rubble foundation. Small 6/6 windows are located on the second floor above 8/8 windows. A single-story addition spans much of the south side with a deck/loading dock extending from the east side.
Constructed by Salmon Washburn in 1809, who also drew the plans for the Congregational Church. Erastus Grant enlarged the hotel and operated it as Grants Hotel from about 1822 to 1870. The building was a center of community activity, the site of dances in the 19th century as well as the location of Grange meetings from 1875 to 1877 and again from 1886 to 1889. It was used as an apartment building rather than an inn for a number of years until 1918.(45) The porches were added in 1923.(46) The porte cochere, of pressure treated lumber, was added in 1987.
39A. Outbuilding, c.1970, Noncontributing building. Next to the Inn and shaded by trees is a long narrow building constructed of shiplapped siding and capped by a low, gable roof with exposed rafters and a hoist pole. Set with its gable end to Market Street it ends in three sets of garage doors on the eastern end. Windows contain doublehung 6/6 sash.
40. Lyme Cash Market, (12 Market Street), 1920, Contributing
A gablefronted single story clapboarded structure capped by an asphalt covered low gable roof. The central horizontally panelled and glass door is flanked by two large picture windows with movable transoms. Simple cornerboards give rise to projecting eaves and a boxed cornice. Spanning the north and east ends of the building are clapboarded shed additions. A four panel door provides access to the shed on the south side. Offset and perpendicular to the main store is a single story shingled ell with double doors on its broad front and a horizontally planked door on the south.
Established in 1920 by Elwin LaMott, the Lyme Cash Market was well known for many years.(47) Later owners included Ralph Dodge, who started the delivery service when he bought the store about 1928, Isaac Perk and Mason Balch. (48) Since 1977 the store has been vacant.
41. Grant House, (10 Market Street), c. 1798, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure resting on a granite block foundation. The gable front, largely obscured by evergreens, measures five bays across. The four panel wooden door is fronted by wooden steps and sheltered by a latticed elliptical doorhood supported by plain braces. Windows on the building for the most part contain doublehung 2/2 sash with plain surrounds. A 3 x 2 fixed window survives in the attic and over each of the facade end first floor windows. Plain cornerboards, a wide watertable and projecting eaves outline the building. A single offcenter brick chimney rises from the asphalt roof.
Extending to the south from the side of the house is a single story ell displaying a vertical board door, 6/6 windows and close eaves on its gable end.
This structure was the earliest known schoolhouse to serve as the Lyme Plain School, District No. 1. Although its exact date of construction is not clear, it was the Schoolhouse by 1809, when Libeus Washburn bought the land for what is now the Lyme Inn, land that extended southerly "to the Schoolhouse lot". Letters dating to 1880 from an old woman who taught in and later lived in the schoolhouse, verify that this present building is indeed the former schoolhouse.(49) Alanson Grant bought the land in 1798 and sold it, with a dwelling, in 1803. It is not clear but .space may have been rented in a house for the school.(50)
42. Canfield House, (5 Market Street), 1898, Contributing
An L-shapcd clapboarded structure consisting of the 1-1/2 story main house, a smaller wing at the rear and attached barn extending to the north, ending in a shed addition. The main house measuring three bays wide is set gable end to the street with a sidehall entrance. The house rests on a concrete-faced fieldstone foundation and is capped by a standing seam metal roof. The main entrance contains a glass and wood panelled door with a plain surround. First floor wmdows contain 2/2 sash with simple surrounds and blinds while a 6/6 window is located in the attic. Simple cornerboards, a plain frieze and projecting eaves decorate the building. A slightly lower wing extends behind the main house, joining the barn. Spanning the northeast corner of the house and barn is a shed-roofed clapboarded addition (1985), square in plan, accessed by double glass doors.
At the rear of the building, the steep slope of the lot reveals a lower barn level not visible from the street. The facade of the two story barn contains an upper hayloft door, 6/6 window and projecting eaves. A low shed addition with vertical double doors spans the north side of the barn.
Research by Dorothy Sears indicates that the house was constructed by Charles W. Canfield in 1898.(51) A house belonging to JC Canfield appears on the 1892 NH Town and City Atlas suggesting either that this house predates 1898 or that it replaces an earlier house.(52) Charles was the son of Joel who sold Charles the land in 1897. Joel lived next door at 7 Market Street from 1875 to 1906. Charles W. Canfield was a violinist and blacksmith while Joel S. Canfield combined more traditional roles of "blacksmith and horseshoer" at his brick shop on Market Street.(53)
43. House (7 Market Street), by 1841, Contributing building.
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure measuring three bays across and set broadside to the street above a poured concrete foundation shaded by a large weeping willow tree. The central entrance contains a panelled wood door with upper glass window and is flanked by half sidelights with an outer surround of pilasters decorated by caps and vertical lines. The entrance is marked by a hip roofed porch supported by four turned posts above a wooden deck. Decorative curvilinear brackets span from the house wall to the porch roof. Above the entrance a low central clapboarded gable rises from the front of the roof with fishscale and diamond shingles in the peak. A set of three joined single pane windows lights the attic. On either side of the front door is a single pane fixed picture window with a leaded transom capped by a shelf lintel. According to the owner the stained glass windows were originally located in a church in Lyme.
Additional window on the structure contain double 1/1 sash with shelf lintels, three of which are located on the north side with two on the south and one in each gable end. Spanning the rear elevation is a porch (c. 1945)(54) resting on a mortared fieldstone foundation with shed roof.
Simple wooden cornerboards and a wide wooden watertable give rise to projecting eaves. The roof is sheathed in standing seam metal with an offcenter brick chimney.
43A. Shed (c.1945)(55) Noncontributing building. Behind the house is a small clapboarded structure with a single wood panelled and glass door an asphalt gable roof and fixed 3 x 3 pane window.
43B. Shed, c. 1900 Contributing building. South of the house is a small wood-shingled outbuilding capped by a sheet metal roof with fixed 3 x 2 light windows, a single 6/6 window in the attic and a vertical panel door. A shed spans the west wall.
According to the present owners this house was originally a barn later moved to the site and retrofitted for use as a house with most of the details subsequently added. Local oral history says that this house, or part of it was the original Jonathan Conant house built 1773 on the site of the present Bowden property (#16) and moved to this site c. 1793. Part of the building may have also been moved to the site by Charles Joy c. 1841.(56) Pegwork is still visible in the attic while interior rooms retain their wide board wainscotting.
44. Wilder House, (9 Market Street), c. 1860, Contributing
A l-1/2 story structure sheathed in asbestos siding, displaying typical Classic Cottage details including a 2 x 2 bay configuration and a high kneewall space above the first floor windows. Set atop a low hill, the house rests on a granite block foundation and is capped by an asphalt-covered gable roof with projecting eaves and an offcenter brick chimney. The central entrance contains a six panel door with an exterior vertical board door. Windows on the building contain double hung 6/6 sash with simple molded surrounds. A single story flat-roofed porch spans the south side elevation, supported by plain posts. Sheltered by the porch roof are a central doorway flanked by two windows. Behind the main house is a single story shed-roofed ell resting on a fieldstone foundation and displaying details including 6/6 windows and a six-panelled door on the north side.
Offset to the southwest is a 19th century attached barn sheathed partially in wood shingles and vertical boards, capped by a gable roof with projecting eaves.
According to Dorothy Sears, this house was constructed in 1884 (57) by George Wilder who bought the land only from John Kent in 1883. Stylistic evidence would suggest an earlier date of construction, c.1850-60, perhaps suggesting that the structure was moved from another location.
45. Thurston House, (11 Market Street), 1854, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure with continuous attached wing and shed set gable end to the street with a sidehall entrance. The foundation is constructed of granite blocks, the roof is covered in asphalt shingles. The offcenter entrance contains a panelled wooden door with a large upper glass and is fronted by wooden steps. It is framed by (five) full sidelights with pilasters supporting a peaked lintel. Corner pilasters rise to a plain frieze beneath projecting eaves with cornice returns on the facade. Windows on the building contain doublehung 1/1 sash with plain surrounds and blinds. The facade features two windows with two in the attic and five lighting the north side. A large maple tree shades this side. On the south side are an additional three windows, the rear most bay containing a glass and panel door capped by a low gable porch supported by plain posts. A single shed dormer punctuates the south roof slope along with an offcenter brick chimney. At the rear of the building eaves are without overhang.
A shiplap shed (at least 40 years old, probably c. 1910) is attached to the rear of the wing, featuring double doors and a four-panel door.
45A. Shed, (c. 1910), Contributing building. Offset to the southwest is a small shed constructed of flushboard shiplap siding with double doors on the front and a rolled asphalt gable roof.
This house was apparently constructed in 1854 for Asa Thurston who bought the land from Rufus Conant in that year and sold land and building to Elam Gilbert also in 1854.
46. Thurston House, (13 Market Street), 1854, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure set gable end to the street above a granite block foundation. Spanning the north side is a single story flat roofed porch supported by turned posts spanned by a clapboarded half wall above a wooden deck and clapboarded airspace. The curvilinear brackets capping each post end in a fleur-de-lis design. Protected by the porch on the north side are a doublehung window and tripart picture window. The northeast corner of the building has been cut out and contains the main recessed entrance.
Simple cornerboards rise to a plain frieze under the projecting eaves. Windows on this (east) side include a single fixed pane picture window with entablature lintel and blinds on the first floor and an attached pair of doublehung 2/1 windows with blinds in the attic. A modern brick planter fronts the elevation. Three 2/1 windows with blinds light the south side. Two shed dormers punctuate the north slope of the asphalt roof, as well as an offcenter brick chimney.
Offset to the southwest is a l-1/2 story clapboarded ell with a 19th century clapboarded attached barn set with a perpendicular low gable roof ridge to the south. A single story addition with hip roof spans the east side of the ell. A low pediment marks the central entrance. The elevation has been faced in brick under the picture window and doublehung window. A single shed dormer punctuates the east side of the ell roof. A shed addition with partial screen porch spans the west.
The barn is capped by a square flushboard ventilator with small 1/1 window, gable roof and weather vane. A single 3 x 2 fixed pane window and door survive in the upper story. A two story modern two car garage has been built out from the facade of the barn, its flat roof acting as a porch on the upper level. A split rail fence outlines the property.
According to Dorothy Sears. this house was constructed by Asa Thurston in 1854.(59) Thurston bought the store on the southeast end of the Common from Rufus Conant in 1854, (see also #47) operating it until 1869 when it burned, taking the proprietors' and town records with it. The store was rebuilt and ran until 1874 when it burned again.(60)
47. Conant House, (18 On the Common). c. 1790, Contributing
A 2-1/2 story frame and clapboarded structure measuring five bays wide and two bays deep constructed c. 1793 with extensive alterations including its front porch dating to about 1911. Set above a granite block foundation faced in concrete, the house is capped by a high pitch asphalt roof from which an offcenter brick corbel cap chimney projects. Spanning the facade and overhanging the side elevations of the house is a single story porch supported by Roman Doric columns with a turned balustrade above a lattice airspace. The central entrance contains a panelled wooden door with a single glass pane capped by a plain entablature. Located on each side of the entrance is a tripart picture window consisting of a stained glass upper panel in the center and a l/l doublehung window to each side. On the second floor of the facade windows are paired containing 2/1 sash with each side. On the second floor of the facade windows are paired containing 2/1 sash with aluminum storm windows and plain entablatures. The central opening is marked by a pedimented porch supported by Roman Doric columns. Patterned shingles fill the pediment, beneath which is a doorway to the balcony, containing an aluminum screen door with plain surround. A single story, three sided bay window is located on each of the side elevation, containing l/l sash with a stained glass transom.
A projecting boxed cornice with plain frieze and paired brackets decorates the eaves with returns on the side elevations, atop plain cornerboards.
Extending behind is a 1-1/2 story wing with two gable wall dormers and a porch supported by turned posts with fancy brackets on each side in addition to a garage opening on the east side. Attached to the wing is a large two story barn constructed of shiplap siding with a gable roof and a sliding diagonal door on its north side.
According to Dorothy Sears, this house was constructed c. 1790 for Rufus Conant. The front porch and second story balcony were constructed by Leon Melvin c. 1911.
47A. Shed, c. 1920, Contributing building. Northeast of the house is a small (8' x 8' x 10') clapboarded shed with a projecting gable roof and a door on its gable front.
48. Wales House, (16 On the Common), 1868, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story frame and clapboarded structure with a cruciform plan resting on a granite foundation. The gable front extension measures three bays wide with a sidehall recessed entrance containing a four-panel door flanked by pilasters supporting a full entablature. Each pilaster has a beveled front edge forming a vertical line down the center of the pilaster. Full sidelights and transom lights surround the entrance while recessed panel pilasters at the corners of the building support a two part frieze and cornice returns. Spanning both the two bay east and west extensions is a single story porch with hip roof supported by plain posts. Side elevations are also two bays wide. Windows on the building contain doublehung 6/6 sash with simple entablature lintels. A single brick chimney pierces the ridge of the asphalt roof.
A recessed porch is located on the west side of the longer, southern extension. Connected to the rear of the main building is a two story clapboarded addition dating to 1979, set above a concrete foundation.(62) Its detailing including cornerboards, eaves, returns and 6/6 windows echo the earlier building.
Constructed by Samuel E. Wales in 1868 on land sold to him by D.C. Churchill, who lived to the west (Churchill foreclosed on Welles' mortgage just over a year later. The house was sold to Bela Sawyer in 1875 who subsequently sold it to Mrs. P.H.A. Claflin in 1905.(63)
48A. Barn, late 19th century, Contributing building. Southwest of the house is a large unpainted clapboarded barn in fair condition, capped by a gambrel roof. A ramp in front provides entry. Several fixed 5 x 4 light windows survive.
49. Churchill House, (14 On the Common), 1816-1818, Contributing
A frame and clapboarded structure with an L-shape plan consisting of a main 2-1/2 story gable front structure with a 1-1/2 story ell to the west and a 1-1/2 story wing extending behind. Above a stone foundation, the main house measures three bays wide with a sidehall entrance containing an eight-panel door flanked by half sidelights. The door surround features a running meander motif and supports a plain entablature with two part frieze. Simple cornerboards and cornice returns outline the structure. Windows on the building are unevenly spaced and contain doublehung 6/6 sash with blinds and metal storm windows and without lintels. A single 12/12 window survives in the attic.
Extending to the west and continuing the line of the facade is a 1-1/2 story ell above a concrete foundation. The facade of the ell is spanned by a single story screened porch supported by beveled posts. Centered above the porch is a gable wall dormer with wide frieze. Cornerboards with a similar bevel design outline the building.
Behind the main house is a 1-1/2 story wing with a gable dormer on each side of the roof nearest the main house and a screened porch on the east side. A doublehung 12/8 window survives on this side.
This house was constructed by David Carroll Churchill, (later better known as Judge Churchill) a carpenter who had come to Lyme from Fairlee, Vermont to work for John Tomson who was building the Congregational Church. It is assumed that he started to build the house when he married in 1816, although he did not get the deed from Rufus Conant until 1818. In 1850, Churchill built the house across the common for his own use [sic] (#18), while this house continued to be occupied by his son David C. Churchill.(64)
49A. Barn/Garage, by 1900, Contributing building. East of the house is a two story clapboarded gable front structure resting on a fieldstone and concrete foundation. Two garage doors are located on the gable front. Fixed 3 x 2 light windows are located on the side elevations with a 12/8 window in the attic. The asphalt roof has projecting eaves.
50. Latham House, (12 On the Common), c. 1800, Contributing
A 2-1/2 story frame and clapboarded structure set broadside to the Common above a stone foundation. Windows on the building contain predominantly doublehung 6/6 sash with simple lipped lintels and include five window openings on the first floor of the facade and three on the second floor. The east side of the house is two bays wide while the west is a single bay deep. Several 12/12 windows survive on the facade and west side. A shed roofed porch measuring two bays wide and supported by turned posts is centered on the facade, sheltering a glass and wood four-panel door capped by a five light transom. The projecting boxed cornice projects slightly on facade and rear while eaves on the side elevations are without overhang. A single brick chimney protrudes from the interior of the south slope. A small enclosed shed porch spans the rear southwest corner.
Constructed as a store by Arthur Latham c. 1800, this house was originally situated between Latham's house and the store he had owned with his cousin (what are now buildings #16 and 17). It was moved across the Common to its present location before 1830, for in that year Arthur Latham Jr. bought the place where it now stands with store and barn on it, according to the deed.(65) The barn has recently been demolished.
51. House, (10 On the Common), 1969, Noncontributing building.
A small modern cape structure .sheathed in clapboards above a concrete block foundation and capped by an asphalt gable roof with large offcenter brick chimney. The house, measuring five bays wide and two bays deep, has windows with doublehung 6/6 sash, plain surrounds and blinds flanking those in front.
The central entrance is marked by a low vertically shiplapped pediment emerging from the roof. Pilasters frame the narrow modern glass and wood front door. A wide frieze surrounds the building beneath projecting eaves. A shed dormer punctuates the rear roof slope. To the west a narrow connector with recessed entrance connects a gable front garage with wide door to the main house. At the rear of the garage is a flat roofed addition.
Due to its recent date of construction, this structure is considered non-contributing within the district. Historically, this was the site of the J.C. & W.G Piper Saw and Shingle Mills. The shingle mill was torn down in 1957. The house presently on the site was started by Richard Bircher and completed by Ivor Hawks.(66)
52. House, (8 On the Common), by 1855, Contributing building.
A 1-1/2 story frame and clapboarded .structure set broadside to the Common and measuring four bays wide and two bays deep, above a poured concrete and concrete block foundation, the house is capped by a steeply pitched gable roof spanned by continuous shed dormers on both the north and south slopes with an offcenter brick chimney. A single story.shed porch spans the first three bays supported by bulging turned posts with a two tier balustrade featuring turned spindles over stick balusters. The central wooden door contains four panels and a square pane of glass. Windows on the house contain oversized doublehung 6/6 sash while three pairs of 6/l windows with 2/2 exterior storms punctuate the dormer. Plain projecting eaves with a sloping soffit and plain frieze decorate the building.
A modern single story addition (c. 1976) capped by a low gable roof wraps around the ea.stern part of the house including a recessed porch at the rear.
The exact date of construction and builder of this structure are not known, although it appears on the 1855 map of Lyme.(67) unlabelled. Originally located between Pipers Mill (See #51) and the house, (#50) Piper sold the building to Darius Mativia who moved it to its present location prior to 1920. Serving as a barber shop for many years, it is now a residence.(68)
53. Conant House, (6 On the Common) 1816 & 1835, Contributing
Known locally for many years as the "Telephone house" is this 2-1/2 story frame and clapboarded structure set above a stone foundation. Measuring five bays wide and two bays deep, the structure is capped by a standing seam metal gable roof punctuated by two interior brick chimneys. Marking the central entrance is a hip roofed entrance porch supported by bulbous turned posts. The porch is further elaborated by a stickwork frieze, ornate brackets with cutout star designs, simple newel posts, and flat jig.saw balusters above a latticed airspace. Entry is gained through double leaf natural wood doors featuring both horizontal and vertical panels and a large upper glass. The door surround consists of long side panels with square blocks and a plain lintel. It appears the entrance may have originally been sidelit with the double doors added later. Windows on the building contain 2/2 doublehung sash without surrounds or blinds, those in the attic are covered by shutters. Simple cornerboards give rise to a boxed projecting cornice which returns on the side elevations.
Extending westward from the main house is a 1-1/2 story wing measuring six bays wide with a porch, similar to the front porch, occupying the fourth bay. This entrance contains a tall six panel natural wood door. The foundation of the wing includes stone blocks in the front with concrete and mortared rubble on the sides. Attached to the rear of the wing is a clapboarded barn with perpendicular ridgeline and a sliding door on the lower level of the west side with 2/2 windows above.
The original part of this structure, the main house, was constructed in 1816 by Jonathan Conant, 2nd, a local carpenter and grandson of Jonathan Conant (see #17). The west part was apparently added when his son Josiah married c. 1835, with the section behind added at a later date. The eastern part of the building served as the telephone office from 1924 until the New England Telephone and Telegraph Exchange of Lyme converted to the dial system in 1953, at which time the dial house (#54) was erected.(69)
54. New England Telephone, (On the Common), 1953 and 1970,
A single story structure sheathed in asbestos shingles, constructed by the Telephone Company in 1953, yet blending fairly well with the older residential structures around the Common. Capped by a gable roof, the building is set broadside to the street above a concrete foundation. Projecting from the center of the facade is a pedimented extension with a single doublehung 8/12 window with blinds located on each face. A single door punctuates each side of the facade next to the front pavilion, that to the west is sheltered by a shed roofed door hood. A simple molding decorates the building, projecting slightly in the front and clinging to the side walls Both side elevations are windowless. A simple flat roofed section spans the rear of the dialhouse, added in 1970.
This building is non-contributing due to its recent date of construction. Prior to the construction of this structure the switchboard was located in buildings #37, 49 and 53 within the district.(70)
55. Grant House, (2 On the Common), c. 1802-1813, Contributing
A two story frame and clapboarded structure measuring five bays wide and two bays deep, resting above a brick foundation and capped by an asphalt hip roof, pierced by two interior corbel cap brick chimneys. A plain boxed projecting cornice surrounds the structure. The central entrance contains double leaf doors, each with an etched glass panel above two wooden panels. The doorway is capped by a splayed wooden lintel. Windows on the facade contain doublehung 2/2 sash with 6/6 windows; on the side elevations; all are without blinds and covered with 1/1 exterior aluminum storm windows. Spanning most of the east side is a shed roofed porch supported by plain posts.
Extending the east elevation is a single story cape style ell measuring five bays wide with a central entrance containing a four-panel transomed wooden door. A shed dormer spans much of the east slope while an offcenter gable dormer with 6/6 window punctuates the west side. A small shed roofed porch projects from the west side of the ell supported by plain posts and sheltering a four-panel door. The rear elevation of the ell is marked by close eaves with a single 9/6 window surviving in the attic, while 6/6 windows predominate. A garage door opening has been added to the south side above a concrete block foundation
This house was built between 1802 and 1813 for Alanson Grant, a housewright by trade, for his own use. During the early 19th century, the structure was the home of Asa Shaw, Town Clerk for 37 years.(71)
56. Converse Free Library, (18 Union Street), 1936, Contributing
A single story brick structure set above a concrete foundation and capped by a slate gable roof. Brick is laid in a bond alternating five rows of stretcher brick to a single row of stretchers and headers; some of the latter are glazed. Measuring three bays wide and two bays deep, the library is set back from Union Street by a grassy area. The central entrance is marked by a semicircular porch supported by two fluted Corinthian columns with two similar pilasters flanking the entrance. Circular concrete steps echo the porch roof. The six panel door is framed by half sidelights containing geometric leaded tracery alternating circles, diamond and almond-shaped patterns. The semicircular fanlight is segmentally divided with scalloped edges and is capped by a stretcher brick arched lintel and central keystone. The porch is decorated by a denticulated frieze reading "Converse Free Library". On either side of the entrance is a doublehung 12/12 window with a gauged flat arch brick lintel, a recessed panel keystone of concrete and a plain granite panel above each window. Windows on the side elevations contain vertically oriented 6/6 doublehung sash. Brick quoining marks the corners of the building, while shallow cornice returns decorate the side elevations. An exterior brick chimney is centered on each side elevation.
Extending behind the main building is a brick wing added in 1982 (Don Metz, Architect) featuring a handicapped ramp on the north side under a recessed porch supported by brick piers. A projecting gable entrance at the rear provides entry to the town offices in the basement. Windows on the addition contain 8/8 doublehung sash with flat lintels. Brick on the addition is laid in a stretcher bond.
The construction of this structure was made possible by the bequest of one of Lyme's leading citizens, Sidney Converse. The building committee consisted of Ralph Balch, Hervey Hobbs, Earl Perkins, George Pushee and Alvin Thayer. The contractor was W.H. Trumbull of Hanover and the building was completed in 1936.(72)
57. Kent House, (16 Union Street), 1886, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure dominated by steeply pitched cross gables decorated by a variety of shingle patterns including diamond, staggered butt, and fish scale The facade measures three bays wide with a sidehall entrance. The wooden door with two upper glass panes is capped by an entablature lintel. A single story porch wraps around the facade and north side, supported by turned posts with turned balusters, and decorated by a spindle frieze and curvilinear flat brackets. The doublehung 1/1 windows have lipped lintels and exterior storm windows. A set of three windows is located on the north side of the house beneath the porch. A modern greenhouse projects from the opposite elevation. Extending behind the main house is a 1 story ell, spanned on the north by a single story porch supported by plain posts with a single gable wall dormer above. Like the front cross gables it is decorated by a variety of wood shingles. A full length shed dormer spans the south side roof slope, below which a single story addition spans the front.
A large clapboarded attached barn is set at right angles behind. It has two sets of vertical board double doors and a fixed 3 x 3 window on the north side. A 1/1 window is set into the wood shingled gable framed by projecting eaves. On the south side the barn is simply clapboarded.
Constructed in 1886 for John S. Kent.(73)
58. Jenks House, (14 Union Street), 1860, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded gable fronted structure with a facade measuring four bays wide above a granite block foundation. Spanning the facade is a single story porch supported by turned posts with a stick balustrade, stick frieze and curvilinear brackets. Underneath the porch roof, the third of four bays contains the main entrance, a wooden door with two upper glass panes and two panels below. It is flanked by full sidelights with pilasters decorated by a curvilinear meander and a central diamond. Above the door is a two part frieze, the rest of the entablature apparently obscured by the later porch. The 1/1 doublehung windows have exterior storms, blinds, and lipped lintels. A projecting boxed cornice with wide frieze adorns the building with returns on the gable end and pilasters at the corners. The asphalt roof is punctuated by a single offcenter brick chimney.
The 1-1/2 story wing features a single story porch supported by plain posts spanned by arched connectors on the south side. A broad wall dormer dominates the other side fronted by a projecting shed addition set on a concrete foundation. Two other additions project from the wall behind. At the rear is a clapboarded attached barn with double garage doors on its south side. A single bay wide two story ell extends south from the end of the barn.
Constructed in 1860 for Elias Jenks.(74)
59. Pond House, (12 Union Street), 1946, Noncontributing
A small 1-1/2 story Cape style structure sheathed in vinyl siding and set broadside to the street. Adding emphasis to the front entrance is an offcenter asymmetrical gable. The offcenter entrance is capped by a broken pediment with a single 8/8 window to the north and double set to the south. An exterior brick chimney is located on the south and a screened in porch is at the rear.
59A. Outbuilding, c. 1950, Noncontributing building. Southeast of the house is a clapboarded structure capped by an a symmetrical roof with office space and a double-doored garage.
59B. Outbuilding, c. 1970, Noncontributing building. A modern gambrel roofed two story building constructed of vertical siding is located behind the house and northeast of the garage.
The main house was constructed in 1946 by Dorsie Pond.(75) Owing to its recent date of construction. this property is noncontributing within the district.
60. Breck House (10 Union Street) 1846 Contributing building.
A 1-1/2 .story partially vinyl-sided/clapboarded structure measuring 4 x 3 bays above a granite foundation. The gable front is spanned by a single story porch supported by turned posts with a two tier turned spindle balustrade. The porch's spindle frieze is further elaborated by a bracketed cornice. The sidehall entrance contains a wooden door with two long vertical panels framed by partial sidelights. Plain cornerboards supporting a projecting boxed cornice with a plain frieze and cornice returns on the ends has been covered in siding. Molding surrounds survive on the gablefront second story windows. Windows contain doublehung 2/1 sash with exterior storms and blinds. The asphalt covered roof is punctuated by an offcenter chimney with a shed dormer on the south side. The single story wing is shorter than the main building and features a transomed doorway protected by a gable doorhood on the south side. Offset to the northeast is a large clapboarded attached barn with double doors on the south side and fixed windows with 3 x 3 panes. Its eaves project slightly and clapboards extend to cover the foundation. The barn appears to be contemporary with the house.
Constructed in 1846 by John Breck. The porch is a late 19th century addition. Known locally as the Mayo house; George Mayo and daughter owned it from 1918 to 1962.(76)
61. House (6 Union Street) c.1840 Contributing building.
A simple 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure measuring three bays wide and 6-7 bays deep set on a granite block foundation. Spanning the gable front is a single story porch supported by turned posts above a latticed airspace and without a balustrade. The recessed sidehall entrance contains a four-panel door with a Victorian screen door flanked by full sidelights. The buildings doublehung 1/1 windows have plain surrounds and exterior wooden 2/2 storm windows. The gable roof is covered in asphalt roofing with two brick off-ridge chimneys and projecting eaves. A gable wall dormer breaks through the south slope. Also located on this side is a transomed four-panel door sheltered by a shed doorhood. A small porch at the rear of the building is supported by turned posts. Offset to the northeast of the house is a clapboarded 1-1/2 story barn lit by fixed windows containing 3 x 2 panes. A low gable outbuilding spans the rear. Several doublehung 12/8 and 6/6 windows survive.
61A. Garage c. 1930, Contributing building. A single story clapboarded garage resting on a concrete foundation. Its gable roof is sheathed in asphalt with exposed rafters and a brick chimney on the rear ridge. Double doors provide access.
Constructed c. 1840 by Reuben Stark.(77)
62. Perkins House, (8 Union Street), 1808, Contributing
A 2-1/2 story clapboarded structure set gable front to the street behind a picket fence with evergreens at the south corner. Centered on the three bay facade is a hip roofed entrance porch, added in tile late 19th century and supported by thin turned posts, three at each corner which are in turn spanned by flat jigsaw-work balusters. Dentils and top-like turned elements decorate the porch frieze. Narrow, three-light sidelights frame the door which is capped by a plain frieze. The doublehung 6/6 windows are capped by lipped lintels with blinds and exterior storm windows. A projecting boxed cornice adorns the building with returns on the end and plain cornerboards at the corners. Projecting from the south side is a three sided bay window decorated by dentils. The building is capped by a standing seam metal roof punctuated by a brick chimney.
Extending behind is a 1-1/2 story wing, spanned on the north side by an open porch supported by chamfered posts, with a screened in porch and modern glass windows added to the south (c.1981). A smaller gable garage wing is at the rear with close eaves and a double wide door.
62A. Horse Barn, 1965, Noncontributing building. Modern board and batten outbuilding with a metal gable roof. A lower flush vertical board addition at the rear dates to c. 1980.
Constructed by Thomas Perkins in 1808 (78), who came to Lyme about that time from Massachusetts. In addition to constructing the Perkins Hotel on the site of the present Barnes school, Perkins was Town Treasurer for more than forty years.(79)
63. House, (4 Union Street), 1903 & earlier, Contributing
A 1-1/2 story clapboarded structure set with its long, broad side side [sic] to the street, measuring five bays wide and two bays deep. The main entrance, located in the second of five bays, contains a glass and panelled door. It is sheltered, along with a window to the south, by a hiproofed porch supported by turned posts which are in turn spanned by turned spindle balusters. The doublehung 2/2 windows are capped by plain lintels with exterior storms and blinds. A simple projecting boxed cornice encircles the building with returns on the ends. A single offcenter corbel cap brick chimney punctuates the asphalt gable roof. An open porch supported by plain posts extends partially across the rear elevation.
The bulk of this structure was constructed in 1903 by Edwin Bugbee, though allegedly part of the structure was built by Rev. William Conant and dates to c. 1773-78.(80)
63A Outbuilding, 1987, Noncontributing building. Clapboarded outbuilding with an a asphalt covered gambrel roof. This building, of recent construction, replaces a c. 1900 outbuilding of similar massing which was capped by a gable roof. Like its predecessor, this structure has double door openings on its broad street facade. It is lit by simple 1/1 windows.
64. Common, 1785 to present, Contributing site.
The area known as Lyme's Common is generally thought of as the long narrow open area laid out in an east-west direction at the center of the proposed district. In fact, the Common historically and to this day covers more ground than most people realize, extending westerly to include the front lawn of the Hamilton House (#9) and northeasterly along Pleasant Street.
A Town Common does not appear on the original Town Plan, but was the result of several transactions including those in 1785 and 1794 in which individual citizens deeded parcels to the Town. Buildings were already appearing in the area as early as 1781. The earliest reference to "The Common" appears in the 1794 deed.(81) The pound was probably the first structure erected on common land. Located north of the present horse sheds and fenced with stone, it was used to hold loose animals and is no longer standing.(82) Later, the meetinghouse (#14) and horsesheds (#35) were built on part of the Common; the meetinghouse built with Town tax funds and the sheds privately built. Town-owned structures constructed on common land included the tomb and lockup as well as the cemetery.
For most of its existence, the oval part of the Common was a hayfield crossed by roads and footpaths. Over the years, the Common served as a training ground for militia; to pile logs on; to frame the Edgell Covered Bridge and for grazing.(83) Two bandstands were erected on the Common over the years, the most recent was torn down about 1960.(84) It had only been since 1926 that the Common has been mowed and seeded, taking on its present appearance.(85) Today the central Common consists of a well kept lawn with maple trees around the perimeter replacing diseased and damaged elms which were removed. The following structures have been erected on the Common over the years.
64A. Civil War Monument, 1917, Contributing object.(86) Located at the eastern end of the Common is a granite statue of a Civil War soldier dressed in a long cape, carrying a rifle, canteen, sword and Bible. The statue was erected in 1917 in memory of Lyme's soldiers and sailors from 1861-1865 and is surrounded by evergreens and wooden benches. The monument was erected with private donations.
64B. Flagpole, 1976, Noncontributing object. Various flagpoles have been erected on the Common since the turn of the century. A pair of partisan flagpoles, one Democrat and one Republican also took their place on the Common west of Union Street for some time. The present flagpole is fiberglass and was donated by the American Legion in 1976.(87)
64C. Memory Stone. 1987, Noncontributing object. A granite tablet set on a base of like material, located just west of the flagpole. At the top of the tablet is an American eagle holding a quiver of arrows and an olive branch. The inscription reads "To all those from Lyme who served their country in times of conflict or peace." The inscription underneath specifies three wars, Spanish-American, World War I and World War II. "Lest we forget" is etched in script at the bottom. On the opposite side of the tablet near the top is a carved wreath. Inscribed below it is Korea and Vietnam and the dedication date of the stone, 1987.
64D. Cannon, Contributing object. Apparently of Spanish 18th century origin, this cannon was brought to Lyme about 1850 by Samuel West Balch, who bought it in a Boston junk yard for $3.00. It was fired for the Fourth of July and on other occasions until the property owners fronting the Common, tired of replacing broken windows, prevailed upon the Selectmen to get rid of the cannon. Instead, a group of local citizens buried the cannon, keeping the site a secret until 1955 when it was dug up. It has since been mounted on a cement carriage, partially filled with concrete and is located at the western end of the Common.(88)
A stone monument was placed beneath the barrel of the cannon, to commemorate the Town's bicentennial in 1961. It was the gift of Ina Bombard in memory of Eugene and Minnie Bombard Pushee.(89)
64E. Memorial, 1937, Contributing object. A small boulder located at the western end of the Common in front of the Hamilton House (#9) bears a bronze plaque reading "Tribute to George W. Weymouth, M.D. Our Doctor from 1889-1934".(90)
1. Dorothy Sears and David Jescavage, "Unpublished Annotated List of 257 Structures in Lyme, NH" (On file at Upper Valley-Lake Sunapee Council and State Historic Preservation Office).
3. Information from Dorothy Sears, September 1986.
4. Luane Cole, Ed. Lyme, New Hampshire: Patterns & Pieces.1761-1976 (Canaan, NH: Phoenix Publishing, 1976), p. 315.
5. Sears list, p. 4
7. Cole, p. 251-2.
8. Ibid, p. 252.
9. Ibid, p. 192.
10. Bryant Tolles, Jr. New Hampshire Architecture. (Hanover: University Press, 1979), p. 297.
11. Sears list, p. 16.
12. Ibid, p. 17.
13. Cole, p. 203-4.
14. Guy Nichols, ³Making Nichols Hardware Store", Insight (Spring 1982):15.
15. Cole, p. 184-185).
16. Ibid, p. 206.
17. Upper Valley-Lake Sunapee Council, "The Lyme, NH Historic Resource Survey Report and Map", June 1982.
18. Cole, p. 186-187.
19. Ibid, p. 204.
20. Dorothy W. Sears, Lyme Common, Part II 1785-1977 (Lyme: Lyme Historians, Inc. 1978), p. 2.
22. Interview with Ralph Balch, Lyme, New Hampshire, May 1986.
23. Sears List, p. 7.
25. Interview with Frederick Lacey, Lyme, New Hampshire, May 1986.
26. Cole, p. 154.
28. Sears List, p. 7.
29. (For either structure #26 or 27)
30. Sears List, p. 8.
31. Cole, p. 342
32. Sears List, p. 8.
34. Ibid, p.7.
37. Sears, Lyme Common Part II, p. 5-6.
38. Ibid, p. 2.
39. Ibid, p. 3.
41. Sears, Lyme Common Part II, p. 3.
42. Cole, p. 195.
43. Upper Valley-Lake Sunapee Council, "The Lyme NH Historic Resource Survey Report and Map".
45. Cole, p. 193-4.
46. Sears, Lyme Common Part II. p. 30.
47. Cole, p. 105.
48. Sears, Lyme Common Part II, p. 49.
49. Cole, p. 248.
50. Information from Dorothy Sears, 1986.
51. Sears List, p. 5.
52. NH Town and City Atlas. (Boston: D.H. Hurd & Co., 1892).
53. Cole, p. 84.
54. Interview with Mr. and Mrs. Glen Buzzell, May 1986.
56. Information from Dorothy Sears, September 1986.
58. Information from Dorothy Sears, September 1986..
59. Sears List, p. 5.
60. Information from Dorothy Sears, September 1986.
61. Ibid, p. 189-190.
62. Upper Valley-Lake Sunapee Council, "The Lyme NH Historic Resource Survey Report and Map".
63. Cole, p. 205-206.
64. Ibid, p. 198-202.
65. Ibid, p. 190-191.
66. Ibid, p. 204-205.
67. E. M. Woodford, Map of the Town of Lyme. (Philadelphia: E. M. Woodford, 1855).
68. Cole, p. 205.
69. Ibid, p. 197-8.
70. Ibid, p. 198.
71. Ibid, p. 192-193.
72. Ibid, p. 279.
73. Sears List, p. 5.
75. Ibid, p. 4.
76. Information from Dorothy Sears, September 1986.
79. Cole, p. 195.
80. Sears List, p. 4.
81. Cole, p. 183.
82. Sears, Lyme Common Part II, p. 2.
83. Ibid, p. 6-7.
84. Ibid, p. 27.
85. Ibid, p. 28.
86. Ibid, p. 30-36.
87. Ibid, p. 29-30.
88. Ibid, p. 24-25.
89. Ibid, p. 40.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The Lyme Common Historic District is significant architecturally as a largely intact and unified traditional rural New Hampshire townscape possessing integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association. Historically functioning as the local center of religious, educational, political and social activity, the buildings in the district largely predate the Civil War with the periods 1790-1820 and 1840-1865 seeing the greatest amount of building activity. With the exception of door surrounds, there is a general lack of stylistic detailing on the structures, as is typical in small rural towns where local builders simplified the architectural styles they learned of only through builders guides. Yet, taken together, the simple vernacular buildings which were erected around the Common in the "Lyme Plain" village form a cohesive unit, representing a significant and distinguishable entity although the components may lack individual distinction. The period of significance terminates at 1938, the 50-year cut-off.
It was the construction of the meetinghouse in 1781 which established the importance of the village at the plain. Prior to the construction of a meetinghouse, some fifty-seven dwellings stood in the Lyme Township concentrated largely along the Connecticut River and south of the proposed historic district, known locally as Lyme Plain. Although there were only a handful of houses located at the Plain in 1781, owing to its level characteristics and location near the middle of the population spread, it was an obvious location for the construction of a meetinghouse. Built by the town, the simple frame building served as both a town hall and church for nearly thirty years before it was relocated further west along the Common to make way for the Congregational Church. Functioning as town hall until 1920, the building is today operated as Nichols' Store. (#14)
The completion of the meetinghouse largely established Lyme Plain as the center of activity for the town and gave new impetus to development around it. A Town Common does not appear on the original Town Plan, but took form after construction of the meetinghouse, the result of several transactions including those in 1785 and 1794 in which individual citizens deeded parcels around the meetinghouse to the Town, parcels which include the Common, the cemetery land, land along Pleasant Street and land in front of the Hamilton House. The earliest actual reference to "The Common" appears in the 1794 deed. The pound was probably the first structure erected on the common land. Located north of the present horsesheds and fenced with stone, it was used to hold loose animals.
Examples of the simple vernacular houses erected by early settlers are still in evidence in the district though in several cases early features have been obscured by later additions, alterations and as was common, construction of a more elaborate main house, using the original structure as an ell. One of the oldest surviving houses in the district is the house situated in the backyard of the Ralph Balch property. (#20D) The simple clapboarded cape style structure displays close eaves, splayed door lintels and dates to about 1799. The Grant House (#55) typifies the two stages of construction which many early settlers followed. The ell was probably completed about 1802, followed by the main house in 1813. Stylistic details are limited to the hip roof form and the splayed lintel over the central entrance.
The visual anchor of the district is the Lyme Congregational Church (#36), its handsome federal style spire visible from all parts of the district. Constructed between 1809 and 1811, the "order and stile of both the inside and outside work of the church were built" according to the plan on which the meetinghouse at Dartmouth College in Hanover was built".(1) The church was built under the direction of master builder John Tomson, twenty five years of age and the great, great, great, great, grandson of John Tomson who built the first church at the Plymouth Colony. Decorated by a central Palladian window, pavilion front, ornate fanlit doorways and an unusual three stage tower, the church is one of the region's finest examples of a Federal style meetinghouse. Built by John Tomson, Sr. while his son was building the church, the row of 27 horsesheds (#35) behind the church is reportedly the largest line of contiguous sheds in New England and possible in the U.S. Like the meetinghouse, the sheds were built on common land.
Contemporary with the Congregational Church and attributed to the same master builder, the Cyrus Hamilton House (#9) clearly set a new standard for Lyme Plain and is still the most imposing residential building in the district. Adding onto an earlier structure now functioning as an ell, the Federal main house, constructed in 1812, displays sophisticated stylistic details including two story facade pilasters, an elliptical fanlight, decorative tracery and a central cupola projecting from the low pitch hip roof.
The advent of the Greek Revival style in Lyme and elsewhere in the period prior to the Civil War gave rise to gablefronted structures replacing earlier broadsided buildings. Within the district, the greatest number of buildings, approximately a third, were constructed between 1840 and 1865. During the 1840s alone, a dozen structures were built, primarily on the roads leading into the Common which was already surrounded by residences. In Lyme, as in many rural communities, the Greek Revival style was simplified by local builders. There are no high style exercises in the Greek Revival within the district, nor even a pediment front. Evidence of the style is limited to the use of corner pilasters, projecting cornices with two part friezes, sidelit entrances with fluted surrounds cornerblocks and entablature lintels. Good examples of vernacular Greek Revival doorways can be seen on buildings #1, 6, 7 20 & 29. Fretwork or running meander motifs frame the entrances of the Lyme Inn (#39) and Churchill House (#49). On the Latham House (#16) smooth Roman Doric columns support a small entrance porch framing an entrance displaying sidelights, pilasters and a fluted surround. In almost all of these cases builders continued to apply Greek Revival detailing to the traditional Georgian/Federal five bay facade form. The Thurston House (#45) is notable for combining the latest sidehall plan with Greek Revival details including full sidelights and pilasters supporting a peaked lintel corner pilasters and cornice returns. On the Fairfield House (#5) the number of bays on the gable front decrease as you rise in height on the 1-3/4 story building, evoking some sense of a Greek temple front.
Bearing the imprint of both the Greek Revival and Italianate styles is the Wales House (#48) which owes its, gablefront sidehall form, sidelights and transom lights, entablature lintels, corner pilasters, two part frieze and cornice returns to the ebbing Greek Revival and its cruciform plan with symmetrical side porches to the Italianate style. Chamfered porch posts and brackets, other earmarks of the style also appear on several structures in the district, suggesting an Italianate influence.
Existing concurrently with the development of the Greek Revival style and sidehall form was the popularity of the Classic Cottage house type which largely replaced the Cape Cod house after 1825. Simple examples of the Classic Cottage form, typified by 1-1/2 story 5 x 2 bay configuration and a high kneewall space above the first floor windows, include building #2 and 44. The Pearsons House (#11) combines the Classic Cottage with a central gable wall dormer, crowning the building like a pediment.
Limited new construction occurred within the district at the end of the 19th century, although many property owners applied the porches, brackets and turned posts popularized by the Queen Anne style to dress up and update their otherwise simple, early 19th century frame houses. Structures which received porches around the turn of the century include #3, 43, 60, & 62. In the case of the Churchill House (#18) a single story porch was wrapped around the facade and side elevation of the 1850 house, decorated by a spindle frieze, turned balusters and fancy brackets with the corner marked by a conical-roofed gazebo. In other cases, wood shingles, in a variety of patterns were used to stylize the gables of older buildings including #43,47 & 57. A Colonial Revival porch was added to the Lyme Inn (#39) in 1923 while a porch of Doric columns on the Conant House (#47) dates to 1911.
New construction at the end of the century includes the Barnes School (#8A) which, typical of the Queen Anne style, displays a first floor sheathed in clapboards with a second story covered in regular, staggered built and diamond patterned wood shingles.
The twentieth century has had a limited effect on the cohesiveness of the district. The Colonial Revival Converse Library (#56), although constructed of brick in 1936, fits in well with the district. Losses by fire have resulted in several new buildings including the Congregational Church Parsonage (#4), the house at 17 East Thetford Road (#10), and the Lyme Country Store (#17)(the design of which closely echoes its predecessor). More obtrusive examples of new construction include the new Barnes School (#8A) and the houses at 10 On the Common (#51) and 12 Union Street (#59).
For the most part, modernization has been limited to new windows, garages and several cases of synthetic siding. In most cases, additions and alterations are relegated to rear elevations and are not readily visible from the street. The once densely tree-lined streets have suffered their share of loss through disease, asphalt has replaced dirt road surfaces and the Common's original hayfield appearance has been forsaken for a manicured lawn. Where alterations have occurred, they have been incremental in nature and do little to compromise the quality of design, setting, materials, workmenship and feeling which characterize the simple vernacular buildings of the Lyme Common Historic District.
In addition to its local significance, the Lyme Common Historic District derives added significance and uniqueness when compared to others of its type in the region. In terms of its linear common and the density of vernacular 19th century structures retaining their integrity with minimal commercial evolution, the Lyme District is without parallel in the region.
The long rectilinear nature of the common which is the centerpiece of the Lyme Plain Village is a unique landscape form locally, and contrasts sharply to the more spacious, square-shaped greens seen in other New Hampshire communities such as Haverhill, Hanover and Lebanon, as well as Norwich, Vermont. More rectilinear but less impressive commons of this general type are also seen in Newport, New Hampshire and in Thetford, Vermont.
In terms of the buildings arranged around the common the patterns seen in Lyme also differ from those seen in other communities in the region. In Haverhill the 19th century structures grouped around the large open common are more sophisticated and commodius than those found in Lyme and bear witness to that community's greater prosperity in agricultural, professional and mercantile pursuits in the last century. A similar combination of more elaborate structures and a squarish green characterizes the town center in nearby Norwich, Vermont. As in these two communities the blend of residential and village uses which are grouped around the Lyme Common have changed little over the years. In contrast, the residential buildings around Hanover's common were gradually pushed out by college buildings beginning in the late 18th century and continuing into the 19th. Similarly the common in Lebanon (Colburn Park) is evidence of a more pronounced evolution spanning two centuries. Over the years various buildings in Lebanon were relocated to make room for new structures. Today¹s mixture of civic, residential and commercial structures ranging from one to four stories and expressive of a panorama of materials and architectural styles including those of the 20th century, contrasts sharply with the unified image put forth by Lyme Common's simple, small scaled clapboard structures dating primarily to the mid 19th century. Today, Lyme Plain continues to provide a core of community services for local residents yet without sacrificing its sense of place to modern construction. The cohesiveness which characterizes the village is reinforced by the concentration of closely spaced buildings on small lots in contrast to the more expansive village centers broken up by tracts of open space such as in nearby villages including Hanover Center and Etna. The impact of roads is another factor which separates the Lyme Plain from neighboring village centers. Despite the substantial volumes of traffic which use Route 10 each day, the length of this road through the Lyme Common area has avoided road widening and development which would lessen its rural character and integrity. It takes only one look at the nearby village of Orfordville, NH and East Thetford, Vermont to see the adverse effects which State Routes 25A and 5 and the resulting development have had on these once cohesive community centers.
1. Luane Cole, Ed. Lyme, New Hampshire: Patterns & Pieces, 1761-1976. (Canaan, NH: Phoenix Publishing, 1976). p. 308.
MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES
Cole, Luane, ed. Lyme, New Hampshire: Patterns & Pieces, 1761-1976. Canaan: Phoenix Publishing, 1976.
Nichols, Guy. "Making Nichols Hardware Store", Insight (Spring 1982):14-16.
Sears, Dorothy W. Lyme Common, Part II, 1785-1977. Lyme Historians Inc., 1973.
Sears, Dorothy and David Jescavage. "Unpublished Annotated List of 257 Structures in Lyme, New Hampshire". (On file at Upper Valley-Lake Sunapee Council and State Historic Preservation Office.)
Tolles, Bryant, Jr. New Hampshire Architecture. Hanover: University Press, 1979
Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire. Boston: D. H. Hurd & Co., 1892.
Upper Valley-Lake Sunapee Council "The Lyme, NH Historic Resources Survey Report and Map," 1982. (Copies available at UV-LSC Office, and State Historic Preservation Office.)
Woodford, E.M. Map of the Town of Lyme. Philadelphia: E.M. Woodford, 1855.
FORM PREPARED BY: Lisa Mausolf, Preservation Planner, Upper Valley-Lake Sunapee Council, 314 First NH Bank Building, Lebanon, NH 03766. Tel: 603-448-1680. Date: May 1988.
DATE ENTERED: September 1, 1988.
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