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Lyme, Connecticut, Town Hall, Circa 1665

Lyme Town Hall

A Town that has captured all that is desirable in New England with a charm that stretches back to 1665.

A history of Lyme really begins with Saybrook, which was established by the Earl of Warwick in 1631 and named in 1636 and the region draws its original name from the coastal town of Lyme Regis in England located in the Lyme Bay along the English Channel. Lyme is described in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The Town of Lyme was set apart in a document referred to as “The Loving Parting” issued by the Connecticut General Court. Lyme is unique among the many historical towns in the Northeast in that their collection contains Grant Books which are descendant of the Domesday Book; first compiled by King William (William the Conqueror) and in which an inventory or census of each landholder to determine the amount of land and livestock and its value so that taxes could be calculated. It originally drew its name from the fact that these tax judgements did not allow appeal of valuation and as such were comparable to The Last Judgement.

The new addition to the Town Hall would be equipped with a FIRELOCK Vault that would protect these historical documents in a fireproof vault that would ensure the vault’s interior temperature would not rise about 125º F. while at the same time providing environmental control to stabilize temperature and humidity in order to slow the deterioration of velum, parchment and early American paper which is known for a decaying process known as “Slow Burn”. The vault chamber is also designed such that microfilm and computer media and audio records will also be safe within the vault chamber.

Ralph Eno, the Town Selectman who began the planning for a new vault for the Lyme Vital Records Collection and managed every step of the process commented: “I was very pleased with the final project. Lyme’s FIRELOCK Vault represents a huge upgrade in our protection of historical paper documents while providing the ultimate in protection for our electronic documents and media moving forward. The technology is amazing and the cost savings versus typical masonry construction certainly makes this a very palatable option for towns with space limitations and security deficiencies in their current vaults.”