The Old Lyme Inn building was constructed circa 1856 by the Champlain family. The 300-acre-estate was a working farm until the Connecticut Turnpike construction began in the early 1950s.
It once housed a riding academy, where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reportedly took lessons. At the turn of the century, many of Old Lyme's famous impressionist artists hauled their painting wagons into the beautiful fields and Connecticut woodlands behind the Inn. The Inn's barn also served as a studio for artists from the Florence Griswold.
When the turnpike arrived, the Champlain family home was sold and ultimately became the Barbizon Oak Inn.
The Inn was named after the Barbizon School of painters, as well as the 300-year-old Oak tree located on a hill behind the Inn property.
It was a friendly establishment with rooms for boarding. In 1965, the building endured a major fire that ultimately closed the Barbizon Oak. With its staircase and interior walls destroyed and not replaced, it passed through the hands of new owners several years later that ultimately restored the building and deemed it the Old Lyme Inn.