Legal Review Says Public Landing in Old Lyme Dates to 1701, Homeowners Say it is Full of Errors

Path to Tantummaheag Landing (CT Examiner)


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OLD LYME — A legal expert’s report commissioned by the town attorney has concluded that Tantummaheag landing is a public road, but the adjacent landowners issued a statement today disagreeing with the findings and offering alternatives. 

Elton B. Harvey III of Isaac Law Offices, LLC, said his review of “the deeds of the Lord families and the Coult families, which owned property on either side of Tantummaheag Road from 1701 forward showed a consistent use of the North and South sides of a highway now known a Tantummaheag Road as a boundary for their respective conveyances.” 


Among his findings, Harvey said that maps from an 1868 New London County atlas show Tantummaheag Road running from Neck Road to Lord’s Cove and that a 1958 Connecticut Department of Transportation map showed the route as an improved road “until it reaches the shore of the Connecticut River.”

But in a statement released today, George Frampton and Carla D’Arista, owners of 12 and 19 Tantummaheag Road, said the report was factually incorrect and that there was no evidence proving the driveway had been a public highway at any time over the past 300 years. 


Frampton and D’Arista said the 1931 survey showing the town’s right of way was fraudulent, but said they were willing to pursue an alternative outside of their property boundary. 

“Moreover, we are quite happy to discuss reconstructing and deeding a right of appropriate and limited public access along the original right of way, which we have absolutely no obligation to do, creating a parking place for one car out of sight of our home and access to the ice pond – – if that’s what the Town wants,” they wrote. “But that would require consent of our neighbor on whose property the right-of-way also ran to reach the current pond, and would probably require that the parking place be on level ground of his property in order to be safely situated.” 

Their statement also offered that ”there might be some basis for a resolution that allows pedestrian access only, a resolution that would be mutually beneficial for our neighbors while preserving our safely (sic) and ownership interests.” 

Frampton and D’Arista said they have “consistently welcomed polite neighbors and townspeople to walk down our driveway to the ice-pond and river,” and to park on the street outside their property. 

“We hope and plan to continue to do so unless the Town makes this a continuing threat to our safety and privacy, which it has over the past two years,” they said. 

First Selectman Tim Griswold could not be reached for comment.