Part XX of the Ellen Frazer Ordway Collection

February 1962. The Big Top at the Everglades Club, Palm Beach. Before the club's annual circus party, a children's matinee performance was staged. After the excitement of the trapeze finale, "youngsters, parents, grandparents, and governesses" were served refreshments in the Orange Gardens. Amidst the lion tamer and the dancing pony, Billy Marshall and the Everglades Club orchestra provided the clashing cymbals and drum rolls. Several hours later, club members filled the lakefront grandstands for a repeat performance of Cirque de Everglades Club.
The Center Ring: Palm Beach, September 1961-April 1962
By Augustus Mayhew

With the Newport house shuttered for the winter, Lou and Ellen Ordway  returned to Palm Beach.  As Mr. Ordway’s health remained a concern, Lou and Ellen spent the season with family and close friends.  On the afternoon of 31 December 1961 on El Bravo Way, Orator Woodward hosted an afternoon Twist party.  At year’s end, Palm Beachers were still as crazed as the rest of the nation, installing at-home Twist rooms with mirrored walls and dancing-until-dawn in local Twist contests.  Early that evening on North Ocean Boulevard, George and Dawn Coleman gave a dinner for friends who would reconverge later at  Ta-boo for the annual Coconuts soiree.  Down at the Bath & Tennis Club, the New Year’s Eve Mardi Gras masked ball kept several hundred swirling on the dance floor.  While at the venerable Everglades Club’s black-tie dinner-dance, 700 members were spellbound by the party’s “Della Robbia motif.”

On the international front, Palm Beach continued as a focus for headlines, however far west of the Iron Curtain, especially since Joseph Kennedy’s stroke on 19 December 1961 prompted increased visits by the First Family.  In Cold War developments, “The New Year has dawned in an air of guarded optimism,” read a 1 January 1962 AP headline. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev stated, “The main achievement of 1961 was that for most of the planet there was no war.”  And, in what may now sound incongruous, the era’s Russian newspapers characterized the USA as “the doomed world of capitalism that will never be able to defend itself,” or at least according to an English translation.

Here are a few more images from Ellen Ordway’s historic photograph collection of Palm Beach’s social menagerie.

25 September 1961
Newport to Greenwich

“We stayed with the Reventlows in Greenwich.”
Pineholm Farm. Court (Kurt) and Peggy Reventlow's house, Greenwich.
Pineholm Farm. A view of the main house, from across the pool.
October 1961
The Greenbrier. White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia


"We spent ten days at The Greenbrier."
The Greenbrier. Between 1958 and 1961, the Department of Defense built a more than 100,000-square-foot top-secret nuclear fallout shelter-bunker at The Greenbrier to accommodate Congress, staff, and their families, in case of a missile attack.
The Greenbrier.
The Greenbrier, lobby. Dorothy Draper's colorful interior.
The Greenbrier.
1 November 1961
Palm Beach


"Lulu Balcom's birthday party."
Happy Birthday Lulu! In May 1949, Lucille "Lulu" Parsons married Ronald Balcom at a quiet Palm Beach ceremony where only her daughter Lucille Margaret Vanderbilt and father J. Lester Parsons were present. Fourteen years earlier, Lulu had married explorer and big game hunter George Vanderbilt, the son of Margaret Emerson and Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, who inherited $20 million during the couple's honeymoon. Their ten-year marriage ended in a Miami divorce.
November 1961
Villa Bel Tramonto

"Angie Ilyinsky brings the kids over for a swim."
Angela Ilyinsky.
Timmy Ilyinsky.
Ann Ilyinsky.
Johnny Duke. Johnny Duke and December Duke.
David Frazer and Delia Duke.
Randy Frazer, Johnny Duke, and December Duke.
Betty Ordway Dunn and her daughter Cordelia Duke.
"The kids' table" at Villa Bel Tramonto.
Then & Now
Left, Dorothy Dear Metzger Hutton and E. F. Hutton photographed in 1939. Married in 1935, the couple is pictured on the right in 1961.
Left, Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, c. 1940; right, Mme. Balsan on Worth Avenue, 1961.
Left, Dolly O'Brien, c. 1935; right, Laura "Dolly" Hylan Heminway Fleischmann O'Brien Dorelis seen on Worth Avenue, 1961.
2 December 1961
Lunch at the Everglades Club & Dinner at Villa Del Tramonto


"Lucius Ordway and Dorothy Hutton celebrate their birthdays."
Everglades Club, golf terrace dining room. Left, Dr. W. T. Foley, Lou's doctor, joins Ellen Ordway, Verner and Gaggy Reed, and Dorothy Hutton for lunch. Along with Lou Ordway and Joseph Kennedy, the eminent Dr. Foley was a physician for the royal family of Sikkim.
"Dinner at Villa Bel Tramonto."
"The crowd."
"Dorothy Hutton brought a gift."
Gaggy Reed, Ronald Balcom, and Vanderburgh Johnstone. Dr. Foley's back can be seen in the white dinner jacket.
Michael Phipps and Verner Reed.
At table. Chris Dunphy and Edie Huntington have a few words between courses.
Florence Cudahy (Mrs. Vaughan) Spalding and Chris Dunphy. Chicagoans Flo Spalding and Alice Stearns were sisters. Their father Edward Cudahy was in the meat-packing industry, having bought part of the Armour interests and then built it into a competitive interest.
8 December 1961
St. Edward Catholic Church, North County Road. Seated in the back seat, President John F. Kennedy and assistant David Powers, along with Secret Service agents leave the church after attending a weekend service. Rose Kennedy's father John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, a longtime Palm Beacher, was one of the founders of St. Edward Catholic Church. Courtesy Cecil W. Stoughton, Official White House Photographs, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
December 1961
December 1961
Everglades Club
Verner Reed.
Gladys "Gaggy" Q. Reed.
December 1961
14-year-old Cordelia Duke on her way to the Junior Assembly at the Bath & Tennis Club.
Christmas 1961
Christmas card. Gertrude Legendre, Medway Plantation.
Christmas card. Chalet Aurora, Klosters. Lulu and Ron Balcom.
New Year's Eve, 1961
The Coconuts, Tahitian Room at Ta-boo
The Coconuts, invitation. 1961.
The Coconuts. Mollie Phipps, Michael Phipps, and Ellen Ordway.
The Coconuts. Loel Guinness, Gloria Guinness, and Milton Holden.
Ellen Ordway, Lou Ordway, and Dorothy Hutton.
Around Palm Beach, 1961
Wall Street scion Bertrand Taylor Jr. and his wife Olive McClure Taylor take a night out away from Hobe Sound with the Obolenskys. Bertrand Taylor's sister was Countess Dorothy di Frasso who died of a heart attack in 1954 aboard a train from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Reportedly, she attended a series of parties "popping nitroglycerin pills like popcorn." Actor Clifton Webb discovered the Countess in her roomette "lying on the berth, attired in black-sequined evening gown, full-length mink coat, and a $100,000 diamond necklace."
Paul and Angela Ilyinsky. Ellen Ordway, Worth Avenue.
February 1962
35th Annual Kiwanis benefit. Palm Beach.
Far left, Lou Ordway, his son-in-law Richard Dunn, and daughter Betty Ordway Dunn, at Villa Bel Tramonto.
"Hobe Sound for lunch …"
Sally Gowen. Her husband, railroad scion James E. Gowen, was president and chairman of the Girard Trust Company, Philadelphia, until 1960 when he retired.
Mary Pierce Withers Runnells. Married to Pullman Company scion Clive Runnells, Mary Runnells spent the winter season needlepointing in Hobe Sound when she wasn't in Lake Forest, Santa Barbara, or Bar Harbor. During the 1970s, author Patrick Dennis (Little Me & Auntie Mame) worked as Mary Runnells' butler in Hobe Sound and Lake Forest. His escapades are chronicled in a biography of Dennis (aka Edward E. Tanner III) titled Uncle Mame published in 2001. In Palm Beach, Patrick Dennis also worked as a butler for Stanton Griffis and Ray Kroc.
27 January 1962
Vita Serena, Clarendon Avenue, Palm Beach. President John F. Kennedy visits with King Saud bin Abdul-Aziz on the loggia at Vita Serena, the South Ocean Boulevard oceanfront estate the king leased from Jean Flagler Matthews for the month during his recovery from an eye operation. "A special area for the women of the household was curtained off and made ready for strictly feminine occupancy according to Moslem custom," reported The Palm Beach Daily News. The king's entourage was housed at The Colony Hotel and the Palm Beach Towers. Courtesy Cecil W. Stoughton, Official White House Photographs-Public Domain, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
8 February 1962
Los Incas, Invitation. The Honorable Stanton Griffis and Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Sanford's dinner for King Saud. Keeping to Moslem tradition, no alcohol was served and there was no smoking during the event.
Mary Sanford's dinner for King Saud competed for headlines with Jayne Mansfield's "night on a tiny coral reef" surrounded by sharks.
Ellen Ordway. Publicity photograph for Good Samaritan Ball.
February 1962
Tiara Ball Committee, 1962. Orange Gardens, Everglades Club.
March 1962
Tiara Ball, Everglades Club
Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney and Mary Sanford. Tiara Ball, Palm Beach. Marylou, the former Marie Louise Schroeder, and Sonny Whitney were married in the Indian Treaty Room at the El Ranch-O-Tel Motel in Carson City, Nevada following his Nevada divorce from Eleanor Searle. After a financial settlement was negotiated with the 3rd Mrs. Whitney, Marylou and Sonny were re-married in Bel-Air, according to press reports.
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lucius P. Ordway. Tiara Ball, Everglades Club.
February 1962
The Circus Party at the Everglades Club
Mollie Williams Frazer with her youngest Master Lucius Ordway Frazer arrive at the Everglades Club with Maureen Kassatly and her son and Master Eddie Kassatly for the afternoon circus performance. Today Ed Kassatly still owns the family's linen-and-lingerie shop, known as the oldest store on Worth Avenue. Kassatly's began in Southampton before opening 89 years ago on Worth Avenue. The Long Island shop closed 25 years ago.
Everglades Club. The lion tamer leads his Palm Beach cats through their routines.
Everglades Club. The dancing pony performs.
Everglades Club. The high-wire walker appears to be accompanied by the orchestra's accordion player.
Everglades Club. The trapeze artists high above the club's parking lot with the royal palm trees.
February 1962
Villa Bel Tramonto


"John and Leslie Ordway come for two weeks …"
John and Leslie Ordway.
Betty Ordway Dunn and her sister-in-law Leslie Ordway.
Richard Dunn takes a look through a telescope as his wife Betty and sister-in-law Leslie Ordway lounge.
March 1962
Isabel Dodge Sloane, obituary.
Isabel Dodge Sloane (1896-1962) and Ellen Glendinning Frazer. Worth Avenue, Palm Beach. c, 1940. Ellen and Isabel were lifelong friends.
April 1962

Mike Phipps' helicopter at the ready for a bird's-eye view of Palm Beach.
The Phipps helicopter at the North County Road Phipps estate.
Villa Bel Tramonto, aerial view, The Ordway manse, looking from the lakefront southeast towards the ocean.
Villa Bel Tramonto. Aerial view, looking north, northwest, c. 1932. A designated local landmark designed by Treanor & Fatio, the Banyan Road lakeside villa was built for Lou Ordway and his first wife Josephine Green Ordway. Courtesy Robert Yarnall Richie Photo Collection, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
From Mike Phipps' helicopter, a view of Villa Bel Tramonto, north and west elevations, from the lakefront looking southeast towards the ocean. Peggy Reventlow's sculpture can be seen between the pool and the lake.
Ellen Ordway's photographs are from the Collection of
Gayle Abrams©.
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