Where in the Valley - Lyme Congregational Church Horse Sheds

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Here is the answer for Where in the Valley...? for June 16 to June 21, 2001

Lyme Congregational Church Horse Sheds
Photograph: Bob Raiselis

Lots of people recognized this structure as the Lyme Congregational Church Horse Sheds, even though we only showed a little bit of it. The first correct guesses were from Mark Beliveau, Becky Luce, Steve Kenton, Jim Tyson, Charles Monfette, and Peter Stettenheim; overall, we had close to a hundred correct guesses. Good show!

From the Lyme page in the Connecticut River Historic Sites Database at

Lyme Congregational Church Horse Sheds, (John Tomson Way), 1810-1814

...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. 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. The shed, underwent restoration in 1987.

Our combined photo is made up of three different photographs; it's difficult to get the entire structure into one view.

Lyme Congregational Church Horse Sheds