New London county. Lyme is situated at the mouth of Connecticut river, on the east side, opposite to Saybrook. It is a pleasant town, generally of good soil, but greatly diversified in regard to surface: some parts are mountainous and rocky, while others are level, with large tracts of salt meadow. The town is watered by several streams and ponds, and the shores on the sound and river are indented by small bays and harbors, which afford the town some navigable privileges. There are several neat villages in the town, a cotton mill, 2 woolen factories, and about 6,000 sheep. Lyme was first settled in 1664. Incorporated, 1667. It lies 40 miles S.E. from Hartford and 40 E. from New Haven. Population, 1839, 4,084. Its Indian name was Nehantick.
Among the first settlers was Matthew Griswold, the ancestor of two governors, and of a numerous and highly respected family in the state.
A tract of land, once an Indian reservation, was for some time in dispute between the towns of Lyme and New London. It was finally agreed to settle their respective titles to the land in controversy, by a combat between two champions, to be chosen by each for that purpose. The combatants were chosen, and on a day mutually appointed, the champions appeared in the field, and fought with their fists till victory declared in favor of each of the Lyme combatants. Lyme then quietly took possession of the controverted tract, and has held it undisputed, to the present day.
Deacon Marvin, a large land holder and an exemplary man, was exceedingly eccentric in some of his notions. His courtship, it is said, was as follows:—Having one day mounted his horse, with only a sheep skin for a saddle, he rode in front of the house where Betty Lee lived, and without dismounting requested Betty to come to him; on her coming, he told her that the Lord had sent him there to marry her. Betty, without much hesitation, replied, The Lord's will be done.
The following is on the Deacon's monument in the grave yard, dated, October 18, 1737.
This Deacon aged 68:
Is freed on earth from serving
May for a crown no longer wait:
Lyme's Captain Reynold Marvin.