East Lyme Historical Society


Article I. Name

The name of the Society shall be the East Lyme Historical Society, Incorporated.

Article II. Purposes and Objectives

The purposes and objectives of this Society shall be:

1. To engage in educational, archival, research and exploration activities and to support such activities that will increase knowledge of and engender appreciation of the history of the Town of East Lyme and its heritage.

2. To encourage the preservation and restoration of the town’s historical assets, such as houses, structures, burying grounds, early artifacts and other things associated with the town’s origin and history.

3. To determine and develop year round historical programs and implementation of same. These programs and activities shall include the periods of colonial history and may include all periods of American History and other history.

4. To cooperate and participate with other organizations for similar purposes and objectives, both within and without the town.

5. To establish the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee to ensure the protection and preservation of the Thomas Lee House as an American heritage, wherein books, documents, pictures, furniture, tools, implements, artifacts and other articles associated with the history of the Thomas Lee House and the family are housed.

Article III. Membership

1. There shall be seven classes of members namely, Individual, Family, Student (through grade 12), Sustaining, Life, Business, and Honorary.

2. Initial membership shall be by written application to the Society and payment of applicable dues. Honorary membership shall be conferred by vote of the membership for outstanding service to the Society.

3. Members of all classes shall be eligible for one vote and to hold office.

Article IV. Dues

1. Dues for each category of membership shall be recommended from time to time by the Board of Directors and voted upon by the members at the next regular meeting.

2. Dues shall be due and payable on the first day of the fiscal year (June 1).

3. Members with unpaid dues for two years shall be dropped from Membership.

4. All membership dues shall be added to the Society’s general funds.

Article V. Officers, Directors and Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee

1. Officers, Directors and the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee shall be members of the Society.

2. The officers of the Society shall be a President, two Vice Presidents, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer and a Historian.

3. Board of Directors

(a) There shall be nine directors elected for a term of three years, one-third to be elected each year. Directors shall be limited to two consecutive three-year terms. In case of a vacancy the Board of Directors shall appoint a member to fill the unexpired term.

(b) Chairmen of standing committees, officers and immediate past president shall also be members of the Board of Directors.

(c) A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum at meetings of the Board.

4. Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee

(a) There shall be a Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee whose members shall be elected by the Society, and whose responsibility shall be the protection and preservation of the Thomas Lee House, as described in Article II, Section 5.

(b) There shall be four members of the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee of the East Lyme Historical Society, Inc. The President of the Society shall be a member. Three other members shall be elected each year. One of these shall be a descendent of the Thomas Lee family so long as said person is listed upon the membership rolls and one of them is willing to serve.

(c) The Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee with independent status within the Society is charged with carrying out the purposes of Article II, Section 5. They shall do so through the agency of the East Lyme Historical Society, Inc. In the event that said Society is unable to function the members then in office shall carry on the purposes of the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee until such time as they declare themselves unable to continue, at which time the Thomas Lee House and the land on which it stands shall revert in the order provided for at its acquisition on April 20, 1914, as recorded in the legal papers for1 transfer of title.  All remaining funds restricted to the endowment, protection, and preservation and operation of the Thomas Lee House, shall be transferred to the legally designated reversion recipient.

(d) Should the Thomas Lee House be destroyed or damaged beyond repair by wind, fire, hurricane, ice or other cause, the members of the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee shall see to it that the site is cleared, suitably restored, seeded over and the site clearly identified and appropriately marked with a durable monument and tablet to perpetuate its memory.

(e) There shall be an Endowment Fund establish and maintained for the purposes of Article II, Section 5.

5. Investment Committee

(a) The members of the Investment Committee shall manage all the Society’s funds including the Endowment Fund.

(b) The investment Committee shall operate under the guidelines of the Investment Policy approved by the Board of Directors.

(c) There shall be three (3) members of the Investment Committee. They shall be elected annually by the Board of Directors. One member shall be the Treasurer of the Society.

Article VI. Duties of Officers and Directors

1. The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Society. He shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors and the Society. He shall have general and active management of the affairs of the Society and shall see that all orders and resolutions of the Board, of the members of the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee and of the Society are carried into effect. He shall be ex-officio member of all standing committees.

2. In the absence or incapacity of the President, his duties shall devolve upon the first Vice President. In the event of the latter’s inability to serve the duties of the President shall devolve upon the Second Vice President.

3. Recording Secretary

(a) The Recording Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Board, of the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee and of the Society.  The Secretary shall record the minutes of all such meetings; the reading thereof for the proper preceding meeting shall be included in the order of business at each subsequent meeting.

(b) This Secretary shall preserve all records, letters and papers pertaining to this office, and to the official business of the society.

(c) This Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be delegated or assigned by the Board of Directors or the President.

4. Corresponding Secretary

(a) The Corresponding Secretary shall conduct the correspondence of the Society.

5. Treasurer

(a) The Treasurer shall collect all Society dues and receive all Society funds.

(b) The Treasurer shall deposit all Society dues and funds in the name of the East Lyme Historical Society, Inc., in such banking institution as the Investment Committee shall determine.

(c) The Treasurer may make transfers, withdrawals, or deposit monies as needed. He shall keep a record of all Society activities.

(d) The Treasurer shall present a written report of all receipts, expenditures, details of the accounts and condition of the funds of the Society and the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee at the annual meeting. The Treasurer shall present a summary report listing total receipts and expenditures, cash on hand, and outstanding bills, at each regular business meeting of the Board of Directors.

(e) The Treasurer shall pay all operating and budgeted expenses. The Treasurer shall pay all bills as authorized by the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee. In the absence of the Treasurer the President shall perform all duties of the Treasurer.

(f) The Treasurer shall deliver to the President and keep in force a fidelity bond if considered necessary by the Board in such amount as the Board may determine. The cost of such bond shall be paid by the Society.

(g) At the expiration of his term, or in case of death, resignation or removal from office of the Treasurer, all books, papers, records, vouchers, funds and securities entrusted to him and in his possession which belong to the Society and the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee shall be turned over to his successor.

6. Historian

(a) The Historian shall keep the official listing of all books, documents, objects and historical materials of every description given to the Society, carefully recording the conditions upon which each item is given.

7. Board of Directors

(a) The Board of Directors shall assist the President in the general operation of the Society. Specific duties of the Board shall include:

i. Preparation of an annual budget for presentation to and approval by the Annual Meeting.

ii. Determination of suitable ways of raising money (i.e., grants) to support the work of the Society.

iii. Annual auditing of the treasurer’s accounts.

(b) The Board shall have control of the general funds and income of the Society exclusive of the funds of the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee.

(c) The Board shall approve budgets for programs.

(d) The Board shall establish dues for the Society subject to the Membership approval.

(e) The president may appoint subcommittees of the Board as necessary to effectively carry out the above duties.

(f) The Board may take the necessary action required if the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee does not act in accordance with Article II, Section 5.

Article VII. Committees

1. Standing Committees

(a) The following committees shall be Standing Committees. Each shall consist of at least three members. Standing Committees are Publicity, Membership, House, Guides, Property, Program, Education, and Marketing.

(b) The Publicity Committee shall publicize the activities of the Society by all suitable means, including press releases, posters, advertisements or brochures.

(c) The Membership Committee chairman shall keep a record of the membership, and report regularly to the Board.

(d) The House Committee shall be responsible for the interior condition and the display of furnishings and artifacts of the Thomas Lee House and the Little Boston School House so that they will reflect favorably upon the Society by our visitors.

(e) The Guides Committee shall be responsible for obtaining, training and scheduling of guides to lead tours through the Lee House, barn, and the School House.

(f) The Property Committee shall have the responsibility of overall maintenance, repair and upkeep of all buildings and grounds belonging to or leased by the Society. Any work on the Thomas Lee House shall be referred to the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee.

(g) The Program Committee shall be responsible for the following:

i. It shall arrange for speakers or other programs for each of the quarterly meetings.

ii. It shall plan activities intended to increase the interest of the general public in the work of the Society with a goal of drawing new members into the Society.

(h) The Education Committee shall develop programs which will serve the schools of our community and others and will be in accordance with Article II, Section I.

(i) The Marketing Committee shall develop marketing strategies which increase the number of visitors to the Society’s historical treasure.

2. The Nominating Committee for the Officers and Board of Directors shall be elected by the Membership at the annual meeting.

(a) There shall be three (3) members.

(b) The committee shall elect its own chairman.

3. The President may from time to time appoint such ad hoc committees as the functioning of the Society may require.

Article VIII. Meetings

1. The Annual Meeting of the Society shall be held in the month of June. The purpose of the Annual Meeting shall be to elect officers, a nominating committee, and directors for the ensuing year, to hear and act upon official reports, to hear a report of the Thomas Lee House Preservation Committee, and to conduct such other business as may be appropriate.

2. There will be a minimum of three (3) general membership meetings per year.

3. Special meetings may be called by the President or by written request of five voting members.

4. The Board of Directors shall meet at least once prior to each regular meeting of the Society.

5. Notice of any meeting shall be mailed to all members at least fourteen days before the meeting.

6. Twenty voting members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Society.

7. Proxy voting shall not be allowed at any meeting.

Article IX. Nominations

The Nominating Committee shall present nominations for all officers and Board of Directors of the Society to be filled at each Annual Meeting. Nominations may also be made from the floor with the consent of the person to be nominated.

Article X. Accession and De-accession of Personal Property

1. The Society may from time to time acquire documents, furniture, artifacts, photographs or any other objects having historical value for its permanent collection. These things may be acquired by purchase, barter, or gift. All accessions shall be made only after approval by the Board of Directors.

2. All gifts offered to the Society shall be accepted only on the basis that the gift is complete and irrevocable, and that the Society at any time and at its sole discretion may sell, barter, or otherwise dispose of the gift, and that the original donor shall have no claim on any proceeds of such sale or barter. All donors shall be required to sign a formal acknowledgement of these conditions before a gift may be accepted.

3. The Society may from time to time accept articles on short term loan for temporary display or other purposes. However, nothing shall be accepted on permanent or indefinite loan.

4. The Historian shall maintain a record of all items accessioned or de-accessioned by the Society.

Article XI. Amendments

These by-laws may be amended, repealed or revised at any regular meeting of the Society by a two-thirds vote of those voting members present provided due notice of such proposed action shall have been given in the notice of the meeting. The By-Laws revisions shall go into effect immediately upon their adoption.

Article XII. Parliamentary Authority

Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these by-laws or any special rules of order the Society may adopt.