Visiting Lyman Estate allows one to see one of the finest examples of a Federal Period country estate in the US known as ‘The Vale’. The original 400 acres followed principles of eighteenth century English naturalistic design, with gardens, woodlands, a deer park and working farm.
Currently its 37 acres have a mansion with beautifully preserved gardens and historic greenhouses. There are specimen trees, late 19th century rhododendrons, and azaleas with a 600-foot brick peach wall on the estate. Its greenhouses contain grapevines, camellia shrubs, orchids, tropical fruit trees and exotic plants.
It’s complex of four greenhouses include the grape house, camellia house, an 1840 orchid house and a gift shop/sales greenhouse providing plants for purchase by visitors. Lyman Estate is operated by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. In addition to tours the beautiful estate setting is available for private parties, meetings and weddings.
Grape House was built in 1804 with grape vines grown using cuttings from Hampton Court, England in 1870. Camellia House built around 1820 has camellias that are more than 100 years old. Winter is the season for Camellias.
The mansion has 24 rooms with a grand ballroom for formal parties and a smaller oval room used for family gatherings. Its first greenhouse constructed before 1800 is thought to be the oldest in the country.
Shipping merchant Theodore Lyman commissioned famed architect of the time Samuel McIntire to build the mansion in 1793. It was enlarged in Victorian style in 1882 and remodeled in Colonial Revival style in 1917.
9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
December 15 – July
Wednesday to Sunday
July – December 14
Wednesday to Saturday
Closed on major holidays
Free admission to the grounds
Mansion admission is $6.00 for adults with reduced price for seniors. Parking is available along stonewalls within Lyman Estate and at the greenhouse.
185 Lyman Street, Waltham Massachusetts.
Lyman Estate is located ½ mil north of route 20, south of Bentley University, and ten miles from Beacon Hill.
Waltham MA is a city of 60,636 that was first settled in 1634. The city is about 11 miles from downtown Boston. Waltham has been called Watch City due to its connection to the watch industry. In 1854 Waltham Watch Company opened a factory in the city. The company was the first to produce watches on an assembly line producing 35 million watches and clocks until closing its doors in 1957.
Bentley University is less than a mile north of Lyman Estate. It is a private co-educational university in Waltham MA. Its academic staff of 484 educate 4,157 full time undergraduate students, 1,405 postgraduates and 40 graduate students.
Waltham MA is a 7 hour drive of 384 miles from Rochester NY. Drive east on I-90 passing Albany into the state of Massachusetts direct to Waltham MA. Follow signs to Lyman Estate.
Here is a visitors comment on their visit
“The greenhouses are a hidden gem, they’re an antidote to a bleak winter’s day.”