EL's Smith House slated to earn recognition as historic property

East Lyme - The Samuel Smith House, a 17th century farmhouse on 82 Plants Dam Road, is on track to earn official recognition as a historic property in town.

The Board of Selectmen approved Wednesday a report by the town's Historic Properties Commission on the house's historic significance. The study report is a step required under state law when designating historic properties.

A public hearing will next be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Town Hall to consider revising the town's historic properties ordinance to include the house. The town's historic properties ordinance currently recognizes homes, such as the Thomas Lee House on West Main Street, as "significant in the history, architecture, archaeology and culture of the Town of East Lyme and the State of Connecticut." It states "the distinctive characteristics of said properties should be preserved and protected."

In the fall, the town's Historic Properties Commission submitted its historic property study on the Samuel Smith House to the state's Historic Preservation Office, as well as to the town's Planning and Zoning commissions. The State Historic Preservation Council unanimously approved the report in November.

The town had in the fall of 2012 approved purchasing the Samuel Smith House, also known as the "Hurlbut House," from Stephen and Carol Huber.

The overall price for the house and surrounding 17 acres was $425,000, but the Niantic Sportsmen's Club contributed $125,000 to use 9.5 acres of land as a buffer zone. The town was then approved for a roughly $150,000 grant last year from the state Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic and Community Development.

The historic property report is available in the Town Clerk's office.


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