Collection ID: sdh

Collection context


The Sylvia Daniels Harding (1911-1997) papers include her personal and many Harding, Ely, and Daniels family papers. Included are her own and her mother's diaries; photographs and vintage postcards of local sites and community life in late 19th and early 20th century Lyme — domestic life, farming, dairying, shad fishing, fur trapping, and the raw fur business, one-room schools, church, Grange, Sylvia's community work, organization memberships, and folk art "needle painting".
1 Linear Feet
English .


Acquisition information:
Sylvia Daniels Harding's papers were donated by long-time friend and executor of Harding's will, Mary Cavicke who, with her husband Dr. David Cavick, bought Harding's home in her later years, providing Harding with its life-time use.
Scope and Content:

The bulk of the papers cover the period 1900-1987. Topics include the personal papers of Sylvia and the legal estate papers of her parents. A detailed narrative diary written by Sylvia's mother, Victorine Pierce, reflects women's active roles in sustaining farm life. It also recounts detail on the business life of Sylvia's father and detail on the childhood and youth of Sylvia and sister Dorothy, neighbor families (Czikowsky), and local artist residents. Included are documentation from sailing trips with husband Bill, bird spotting registers, memories of her Joshuatown one room school days, memberships and service to the Lyme Grange, service to the Lyme Congregational Church, and Lyme Garden Club. Also included are information and examples of Sylvia's creative, artistic work and awards, especially in "needle painting" with fine silk embroidery. The neighbor friends, the Czikowsky family, also figure in the Daniels family life story.

There are many black and white photographs of Lyme residents, family, friends, farm life, animals, most likely taken by her photographer husband. A sizable portion of the Archive's post card collection comes from Sylvia's collection of vintage black and white photographs with Lyme scenes as well as mid-20th century color greeting cards and postcards of New London and New England historic scenes.

In addition to the papers and documents about the Daniels family, there are papers about Sylvia's in-laws, James ("Jay") Ely Harding Sr., wife Harriet Josephine ("Momma Jo") Harding, and of the Pierce family.

Biographical / Historical:

Sylvia lived her entire life on Joshuatown Road, Lyme, over-looking the Eight Mile River, attending the Joshuatown common school and graduating from Pratt High School, Essex. She had memberships in several Lyme organizations and institutions where she gave much service, such as Lyme Grange, Lyme Congregational Church, Lyme and Federated Garden Clubs, Boy and Girl scouts, and the Lyme Reading Group. She was also an active environmentalist and talented artist. Her father, Jared Daniels, was locally noted for animal trapping and fur curing, shad fishing, sheep farming and town politics. Her mother, Victorine Pierce, came from New York City. Sylvia was married to James (Jim) Ely Harding Jr. from across the Eight Mile River which brought her into the Lyme Harding family circle. The couple had no children. Jim's parents were James (Jay) Ely Harding Sr. and Harriet Josephine (Jo) Helmen. Sylvia was a long-time, beloved baby-sitter for several families (including for Mary Cavick).


Lyme Public Library
Local History Archives
482 Hamburg Road
Lyme, CT 06371, USA
(860) 598-9760