History Blog

Category Archives: Profiles

Profiles: Daphne Ely (1891-1981)

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Daphne Ely was a resident of Lyme and active community member, but before settling down in the town where her ancestors had settled, Daphne lived in Hartford and documented her life from 1911-1914 in her scrapbook. She was also an avid collector of newspaper clippings, local advertisements, and invitations to social events, and her scrapbook details four years in the life of a Hartford socialite in the early 20th century.

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Profiles: Margaret Courtwright Brown (1904–1994)

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Margaret Brown, who was president of the Florence Griswold Museum and the Lyme Historical Society from 1968 to 1974, was a real character. Wearing overalls and real pearls astride her tractor, she loved to mow her lawns and those around the Florence Griswold house.

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Profiles: Robert Harper Griswold (1806–1882)

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Captain Robert Griswold is remembered as a respected sea captain who owned one of the grandest homes in Old Lyme and whose daughter Florence was the inspiration for the thriving museum that today bears her name. Family letters and the journal of a famous American novelist shed light on his character and his years at sea.

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Profiles: Elsie Ferguson (1883–1961)

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Elsie Ferguson, a celebrated Broadway actress and star of the silent screen during the World War I era, settled in Old Lyme in 1955. The gabled front addition to an historic tavern became her final home.

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Profiles: Ernestina Fisher Coult (1842-1919)

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Old Lyme’s prominent families traditionally used marriage ties to extend their property, wealth, and status. William Ely Coult (1797–1877) ignored that precedent when at age 65 he married the young German woman who worked as his household servant.

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Profiles: Margaret Mather Sill

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Margaret Mather (1787–1866), called “Peggy” by her family and in Lyme’s birth records, moved to Albany when she reached the marriageable age of 21. Just half a year after she became the wife of William Nicoll Sill (1786–1844) and settled into a grand brick mansion house overlooking the Hudson River, her father died in Lyme, leaving each of his nine children a substantial bequest.

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