Philadelphia in Palm Beach: A Social Diary, 1927-1931
First published in 2011. Several months ago, an NYSD reader, Liz Forman, sent me a note saying a South Florida friend had some family scrapbooks that I might enjoy seeing. On her next visit to Florida, she arranged for me to meet Lou, Lucius Ordway Frazer, who brought along one of his grandmother’s scrapbooks.
“I think my grandmother must have died laughing,” said Lou, when I showed him a photograph of his grandmother, Ellen Glendinning Frazer Ordway,with Mary Sanford.
Philadelphian Ellen Glendinning kept an extensive diary where she recorded and photographed the life around her family and friends, a chronological scrapbook of photographs, invitations, and published newspaper and magazine articles. She kept a meticulous chronicle of family summers in Ventnor or Watch Hill, Easter at White Sulphur Springs, and holidays in France and Switzerland. In Chestnut Hill, the Glendinnings were at home at The Squirrels; in Palm Beach, they were ensconced at Casa dei Leoni, one of Mizner’s most Venetian-styled villas located on the Everglades Club basin.
In 1920 Ellen Glendinning married Persifor Frazer III. They divorced in 1934. “Persi” then married Margaret Isham; later, Ellen married Lucius Pond Ordway Jr.
“I’ve never met anyone who loved life as much as she did,” recalled Frazer. “And she loved to take pictures.”
When Lou Frazer isn’t pursuing his historical interests, he is the director of sales for corporate development at Ocean Properties Ltd, with headquarters in Highland Beach.
Here is a glimpse of Palm Beach between 1927 until 1931, as seen through the eyes and lens of Ellen Ordway.
Bath & Tennis Club
Palm Beach life