Old LYme Historical society tours Duck river cemetery

On October 22, some 25 members of the Old Lyme Historical Society gathered on a spectacular autumn afternoon for a tour of Duck River Cemetery led by Jim Lampos and Michaelle Pearson.

OLCA president Carolyn Wakeman welcomed the group to scenic and historic Duck River, which she described as “the town’s outdoor museum of art, history, and landscape.” She gave a brief introduction to the Association’s role in maintaining and improving eight burying grounds in Old Lyme and pointed out the restoration work underway to clean and repair damaged gravestones in the cemetery’s Ancient section, where the earliest surviving monument dates to 1676. She also noted the four Witness Stones newly placed at the cemetery entrance to commemorate enslaved African Americans whose labor contributed to the economic development of the community. She concluded by inviting volunteers to join the Association’s restoration efforts.

Jim Lampos began the tour by calling attention to three granite gravestones installed near the Duck River entrance for members of the Tinker family, then led the group through the Ancient Section. He and Michaella Pearson discussed the contributions of notables like Rev. Stephen JohnsonGov. Matthew Griswold, and Capt. Ezra Lee. They also noted the important gravestone carvers hired by Lyme residents to inscribe and adorn early brownstone monuments. 

The tour ended in the Victorian Section with descriptions of the major accomplishments of Charles J. McCurdyPhoebe Griffin Noyes, and her granddaughter Katharine Ludington who, in addition to her contributions as a portraitist and a suffrage movement leader, served for several decades as secretary of the OLCA.