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Who built the Lyman Estate?

The Lyman Estate was created in 1793 by Theodore Lyman. Lyman was born in 1753 in York, Maine. After gaining experience in the shipping industry, he moved to Boston shortly after the American Revolution. He lived with his family on Boston’s Beacon Hill and moored his ships in Boston Harbor. Highly successful by the age forty, he built the Lyman Estate, which his family named "The Vale," as a summer residence and gentleman’s farm.

Why is the house so under furnished?

The mansion is used primarily as a function venue for weddings, private parties, and corporate events. For that reason, it must be kept open so that the rooms can be set up and used for functions. Objects deemed too fragile, too valuable, or limit the current use of the mansion, are stored off-site. 

How can I book the Lyman Estate for my special event?

For more information about Historic New England functions, please visit Historic Sites for Special Events.

Why is there a long brick wall?

The 600-foot-long, twelve-foot-high wall is named the Peach Wall. The wall's purpose was both decorative and utilitarian; peaches and pears were trained to grow flat against it, in an espalier fashion, with their branches wired to supports, which allowed them to grow horizontally against the wall. The effect was very attractive and ornamental. The wall was also functional, as the heat radiating from it protected the fruit from early frosts, and allowed it to ripen more quickly. Architecturally, it served as a dramatic feature that separated the “civilized” manicured garden area directly behind the mansion from the woodlands behind it.

Can I take photographs at the Lyman Estate?

Interior and exterior photography for personal use is allowed at Historic New England properties. For the safety and comfort of our visitors and the protection of our collections and house museums, we ask that you be aware of your surroundings and stay with your guide. Video, camera bags, tripods and selfie-sticks are not permitted. Professional/commercial photographers and members of the media should visit the press room for more information.  

Is the Lyman Estate handicapped accessible?

There is a handicapped accessible ramp available for use to gain access to the first floor. The Lyman Estate has not been equipped with ramps, elevators, or chair lifts to reach the second floor. Service animals are welcome. We encourage visitors or function guests with concerns to call ahead. We are happy to work with you to make your visit an enjoyable one.

How do I become a member of Historic New England and get more involved?

Join Historic New England now and get involved in preserving and celebrating the region's heritage.  To join, call the Membership Office at 617-994-5910 or join online.