North America -- United States of America -- State of Connecticut -- New London County -- Lyme {Id= 567}

Indigenous Name:  Possibly Wachaqueage
Territorial Homeland: Western Niantic Territory, Wangunk Territory
Associated Tribal Affiliations: Pequot Jurisdiction (to 1638), Mohegan Jurisdiction



The area presently called Lyme was part of the Western Niantic and Wangunk territories.  It fell under Pequot rule at least by the time of the Pequot War.  After the defeat of the Pequots, Uncas extended Mohegan jurisdiction over it through claims of conquest and kinship. 

English venturers claimed the land through a royal patent to Lord Brooke and Viscount Saye and Sele as part of Saybrook Colony in 1635.  When that venture collapsed in 1644, Saybrook was sold to the Colony of Connecticut.  Twenty-one years later, the eastern side of Saybrook separated to form what would become in 1667, the Second Ecclesiastical Society of the Town of Lyme.  In 1819 Salem was created from parts of Colchester, Lyme, and Montville.  In 1839, the Connecticut General Assembly took portions of eastern Lyme and western Waterford and incorporated them as the separate Town of East Lyme.  In 1855, South Lyme separated from Lyme and was renamed Old Lyme two years later.

Native Place Names

  • Cossonnacock was a Wangunk village in the northwest part of Lyme, also called Seldon’s Cove or Creek or on a tract of land near it.  JT/CPN
  • Eight Mile Island was a residence of Attawanhood (Joshua), the son of the Mohegan sachem Uncas.  It is located off the mouth of the Eight Mile River.  CPN
  • Gunger or Gungy (“high rock”) is rough terrain located in the northeast corner of town that serves as the source of several brooks.  CPN
  • Mamachoag (“an abundance of small fish”) is a brook in the town of Lyme. JT/CPN
  • Ne-a-gun-taug was a location on the south bound of Quinebaug country, southeast of Jewett City.  CPN
  • Pissepunk (“they are sweating”) is the name of hill at swamp opposite Saybrook Point in Lyme called Hot House Swamp, because of a sweat lodge associated with it. JT/CPN
  • Pohtiyomsek (“at the place of a prominent rock”) is a large boulder in the Connecticut River north of Hamburg Cove, just above Brockway Landing, near Eight Mile Island.  Also called Wattiompsk  (“at the rock”) and perhaps Petnaiompsk (“a great rock on Mohegan south bounds”).  Originally a southwestern bound of early 17th century Pequot Country, it became Mohegan conquered territory after the Pequot War.  It was known as Stone’s Rock by the English because it marks the location in the Connecticut River where Captain John Stone and his crew were killed by Indians in 1634.  JT/CPN
  • Poodhumsk (“ a great rock” or “projecting rock”) is a large boulder on the top of a great hill northeasterly of Pumpum Bashunk (Lyme cedar swamp).  It was on the south line of Mohegan bounds and an easterly bound of a land sold by Owaneco in 1702.  Also known as Pigeon or Walnut Hill.  CPN
  • Pumpum Bashunk (“rock reef at the river’s mouth”) was one of the south bounds of Mohegan country, about five miles north-northeast of the Connecticut River, at or near Lyme Cedar Swamp. JT/CPN
  • Tantomorantum is a brook at Brush Hill by Joshua’s Creek.  CPN
  • Wachaqueage (“country near the mountain”) is one of the bounds of an eight-mile square tract near the east side of the Connecticut River about twelve miles from the mouth.  The property extended from or between Wachaqueage to Weegasoeguck, which is near Mount Archer in North Lyme.  It was granted by Sanhop, a Niantic Indian, to Major John Talcott and others in 1674. JT/CPN
  • Wahginnicut is located at the north end of Selden Neck.  CPN
  • Wattiompsk (“at the rock”) is a rock in the Connecticut River that marks the south bound of Uncas’ country.  See Pohtiyomsek.
  • Weegasoeguck (“end of swamp”) was located near Mt. Archer and served as one of the bounds of an eight-mile tract granted by the Indians in 1674.  CPN
  • Winsohchook (“at the rocky cliff”) is a great cliff of rocks on the west side of Eight Mile River, nearly two and a half miles northeast of Pohtiyomsek or Stone’s Rock.  It was a bound mark in the Mohegan south line.

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