STORIES IN STONE
Gravestones in Duck River Cemetery have stories to tell about the lives of those who passed before us in the Lyme region and the events that shaped the development of a Connecticut town, distinguished by its prominent lawyers and ministers, its shipbuilding and maritime trade, its architecture and scenic landscape, and its contributions to education, conservation, and the arts.
Like Irish immigrants who found work in Lyme in the 1850s, members of the Fisher family were employed as farm laborers and domestic servants. Ernestina, in her mid-teens, was hired by the family of William E. Coult. Her parents and some of her siblings later sought greater opportunities and moved to Oregon. They urged Ernestina to follow them, but William and his mother Mary Marvin Coult persuaded her to continue her service in their home and large farm on Neck Road.
This early family cemetery is located on a private wooded lot near the southeast corner of Neck Road (Rte 156) and Saunders Hollow Road. Approximately thirty graves are located in the cemetery, which includes ten monuments, most with foot stones, and about twenty field stones. The gravestones commemorates deaths between 1759 and 1817.
For more than 250 years a solitary gravestone has stood on the north side of today’s Shore Road, adjacent to the Old Lyme Land Trust’s Goberis-Chadwick Preserve. Seven fieldstones scattered in the immediate area suggest that others, their names and dates unknown, were buried nearby.