The East Lyme Public Trust Foundation recently donated a new flag and flagpole at Liberty Green in Niantic to the Town of East Lyme. The original wooden pole, which had come from a four-masted schooner, was installed after World War I. Although the pole was originally 125′ in height, over the years it had been lowered to 75′. In recent years when it began to show signs of rot, the town became concerned with its stability.
The new flagpole project began in March 2022 with a suggestion by then Director of Parks and Recreation, Dave Putnam. The Foundation agreed to spearhead the project and Pan Wasylik and Kathie Cassidy initiated research for a flag company. Upon the selection of the Michigan based company Flagpolesetc. the Foundation ordered a 80′ metal pole, paying the $16,000 deposit in May.
Several corporations, organizations and individual contributors shared the $16,000 balance, which included installation. The Foundation would like to thank the following for their funding of this project: The Dime Savings Bank Foundation, The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, Niantic chapters of Lions, Rotary and the VFW Kane-hill Post 5849. The Dutch Point Credit Union and individual contributors also made donations. All these community-minded groups were willing to provide generous donations in support of this worthy project.
After several supply chain issues, the flag company delivered and installed the pole and flag in December. The flag company moved the new pole approximately 10 yards east to help protect the flag and the historic purple beech tree on Liberty Green from entanglement. The new director of Parks and Recreation, Jerry Lokken, who was key in the final installation process, accepted ownership of the pole for the town.
Special thanks go to Patrick Hughes from the East Lyme Veterans Council and the volunteers who currently raise and lower the flag daily. Plans are being worked out to install a light allowing the flag to fly 24 hours a day. The Foundation and Parks and Recreation Department are planning a formal dedication in the spring.