Early Pioneers Looking For Better LandSettle In Western Reserve Community of 

New Lyme

Early Pioneers Looking For Better LandSettle In Western Reserve Community of 

New Lyme

By Lucille Donley (1976)

By Lucille Donley (1976)

The communities of the Western Reserve all share the same story, that of courageous pioneers who came looking for new and better lands. The first settler in New Lyme Township, then called Lebanon, was Joel Owen of Tolland County, Connecticut. He came in November of 1803, leaving his wife and two children in Amsterdam, New York.

He returned for them the following spring, bringing them to share the small log structure with the "regulation puncheon floor and rived shingle roof' he had built during the winter. For seven years they were the only settlers in the township, with their nearest neighbors more than seven miles away.

"However," according to the Ashtabula County Historical Society quarterly bulletin of October 21, 1953, "they were not far from the red man. When they arrived at their new home, they found about sixty Indians encamped on their land just a short distance from their cabin. Fortunately, there never was any trouble between the white family and those unexpected and irregular neighbors, and they always managed to keep on friendly terms. The Indians kept the Owens supplied with elk, deer and bear meat, turkeys, fish and maple sugar, in return for which they would take almost anything in the produce line the Owens could spare.

Owen soon built another log house, this time twenty feet square. The family eventually included six children and in 1816 they moved to Saybrook. In January, 1811, a group of men from Lyme, New London County, Connecticut, arrived,

In July of the same year, Dan Huntley, Joseph Miller, Peter Chapman and Perry G. Beckwith, with their families, arrived in the township. In August, Samuel and Daniel Peck and Vinton Way returned to Connecticut for their families, coming back to New Lyme with Eusebius Dodge, Zopher Gee, and Charles Knowles a Sanford Miner. The journey of more than 600 miles, in wagons drawn horses and oxen, took 43 days. It is recorded that between and 100 people arrived in New Lyme that year.

The first sawmill was erected by Joseph Miller in 1814. was located on Whetstone Creek. The next mill was built by Zopher Gee and Samuel 0. Peck in 1820 and stood on Lebanon Creek, Oliver Brown, in 1843, built a mill at Brownville, on the west side of Route 46 just below the Town Hall, which was run by water until 1850, when steam power was substituted. It was at this mill that some of the lumber used in the construction of the New Lyme Presbyterian Church, in the late 1880s, was cut.

The township was organized under the name of Lebanon on the first Monday of April, 1813. It continued under that same name until 1825, when the name was changed to New Lyme a special act of the legislature. Many of the earliest settlers were from Lyme, Connecticut.

The communities of the Western Reserve all share the same story, that of courageous pioneers who came looking for new and better lands. The first settler in New Lyme Township, then called Lebanon, was Joel Owen of Tolland County, Connecticut. He came in November of 1803, leaving his wife and two children in Amsterdam, New York.

He returned for them the following spring, bringing them to share the small log structure with the "regulation puncheon floor and rived shingle roof' he had built during the winter. For seven years they were the only settlers in the township, with their nearest neighbors more than seven miles away.

"However," according to the Ashtabula County Historical Society quarterly bulletin of October 21, 1953, "they were not far from the red man. When they arrived at their new home, they found about sixty Indians encamped on their land just a short distance from their cabin. Fortunately, there never was any trouble between the white family and those unexpected and irregular neighbors, and they always managed to keep on friendly terms. The Indians kept the Owens supplied with elk, deer and bear meat, turkeys, fish and maple sugar, in return for which they would take almost anything in the produce line the Owens could spare.

Owen soon built another log house, this time twenty feet square. The family eventually included six children and in 1816 they moved to Saybrook. In January, 1811, a group of men from Lyme, New London County, Connecticut, arrived,

In July of the same year, Dan Huntley, Joseph Miller, Peter Chapman and Perry G. Beckwith, with their families, arrived in the township. In August, Samuel and Daniel Peck and Vinton Way returned to Connecticut for their families, coming back to New Lyme with Eusebius Dodge, Zopher Gee, and Charles Knowles a Sanford Miner. The journey of more than 600 miles, in wagons drawn horses and oxen, took 43 days. It is recorded that between and 100 people arrived in New Lyme that year.

The first sawmill was erected by Joseph Miller in 1814. was located on Whetstone Creek. The next mill was built by Zopher Gee and Samuel 0. Peck in 1820 and stood on Lebanon Creek, Oliver Brown, in 1843, built a mill at Brownville, on the west side of Route 46 just below the Town Hall, which was run by water until 1850, when steam power was substituted. It was at this mill that some of the lumber used in the construction of the New Lyme Presbyterian Church, in the late 1880s, was cut.

The township was organized under the name of Lebanon on the first Monday of April, 1813. It continued under that same name until 1825, when the name was changed to New Lyme a special act of the legislature. Many of the earliest settlers were from Lyme, Connecticut.

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