The Griswold boardinghouse is located on Lyme Street in the village of Old Lyme, Connecticut. It was built for the Noyes family in 1817, and later purchased by the prosperous sea captain Robert Harper Griswold in 1841.
“And the Griswold House is surely a delight, the memory of which stands preeminent among the many quaint and interesting old places we visited during our pilgrimage. It is a stately yellow-and-white mansion, well past the century mark in years, with four immense pillars flanking an exceptionally fine entrance, standing well back from the street in a grove of splendid trees.”
~ Travel Writer Thomas D. Murphy, 1924
By the late 1890s, the captain’s youngest child, Florence, was fifty years old and virtually alone in the world. She inherited the house, along with its debts. To survive, she chose to take in boarders, turning the private home into the Griswold boardinghouse. This was a common and socially acceptable occupation for women at the time. Unlike most boardinghouses, however, hers was filled with painters. One of her first boarders was the artist Henry Ward Ranger, who decided the house was the perfect place to set up an artist colony.
Alphonse Jongers (1872-1945)
The Harpist, 1903
Oil on canvas
Gift of the Lyme Art Association
The Griswold House, 2006
Arthur Heming painting en plein air near the Griswold House, c. 1905