Philadelphia in Palm Beach: Part IV, 1938

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19 August 1938. The Beatrice Patterson-Rodman Wanamaker II wedding reception at Duneside, Gin Lane, Southampton.

Philadelphia-Palm Beach-Watch Hill cosmopolitan Ellen Glendinning Frazer focused her camera on the private lives of society’s most extraordinary personalities, making for an entertaining biographical chronicle of the faces and places often regarded as America’s social aristocracy. With her first husband Persifor Frazer III remarried and ensconced at Newport, her daughter at Miss Porter’s, and her two sons at the Brooks School and Eaglebrook School, Mrs. Glendinning Frazer pursued the fashionable pleasures of a sporting life with her family and friends.

Although Ellen Glendinning Frazer Ordway died 35 years ago, her photographs are a reminder that photographs give the past a presence that lasts forever.

Here are some snaps from 1938 season in Palm Beach, a week at Medway Plantation, and the Southampton wedding of her Philadelphia pals, Beatrice Patterson and Rodman Wanamaker II.

10 January 1938 – 14 February 1938

Casa dei Leoni
450 Worth Avenue, Palm Beach

A colorized post card of the Glendinning house, Casa dei Leoni, a view looking northwest across the Everglades Club basin.
Tat Saunders and Mary Saunders, “Smith College grads.” The Tat Saunders shops in Palm Beach, New York and Watch Hill carried the latest “French importments,” chiffons, silks, and resort sportswear for women.
Ellen Glendinning welcomes the Saunders clan on the patio at Casa dei Leoni.
Gates and Lallie Lloyd on the patio on a Sunday before lunch. “Lallie” was a nickname for Eleanor Biddle Barnes Lloyd whose father Hampton Barnes was a Philadelphia lawyer. Her husband Horatio Gates Lloyd Jr. was a partner with Drexel & Co. until he joined the CIA in 1950.
Ethel Shields Darlington Garrett.
Gertrude Sanford Legendre with her dogs Clippy and Tannie on the terrace at Casa dei Leoni.

Lunch with Marjorie and Bob Wilson
Vita Serena, 105 Clarendon Avenue

Designed by Marion Sims Wyeth for Clarence and Marjorie Jones, Mr. Jones died before the house was finished. For several decades after WW II, the oceanfront estate known as Vita Serena was owned by Jean Flagler Matthews who during the early 1960s rented the house to King Saud.


Marjorie Seely Blossom Jones Wilson. The widow of financier E. Clarence Jones, Marjorie married Capt. Robert Amcotts Wilson several years after Mr. Jones’ death. Clarence Jones was the first president of the Everglades Club.
Bob Wilson became an English naval attaché to the British Embassy.
L to R.: Lady Anne Hunloke. The former Lady Anne Cavendish, her aunt was Adele Astaire who had married Lord Charles Cavendish. In 1929 Lady Anne married Henry Hunloke, whose father was captain of the royal yacht.; Henry Hunloke. In June 1938 Hunloke was elected to Parliament.
Mary Benjamin Rogers. Mrs. Benjamin Rogers, as she was known, was the first wife of Standard Oil heir Henry H. Rogers Jr., having divorced in 1929. While her daughter, the fashion icon Millicent Rogers, made headlines during the 1920s when as Countess Salm she accused her husband of attempting to kidnap her children, it was her son Henry H. III’s dilemma in 1935, his girlfriend, an actress, was found dead in his second-floor bedroom having been shot twice, that nearly caused the family’s unraveling until an inquest ruled “suicide” the cause of death.
Capt. Cecil Boyd-Rochefort. “He implored me not to take his photograph.” Considered Britain’s best-dressed man, Sir Cecil was considered among the world’s best horse trainers. A frequent houseguest at Amado with Charles Munn, Capt. Boyd-Rochefort trained the William Woodwards’ stable as well as England’s royal stables, becoming Queen Elizabeth’s racing trainer during the 1950s.
Bernard Boutet de Monvel. A popular society portraitist, de Monvel owned one of Palm Beach’s most unusual houses, “La Folie Monvel,” a hexagonal-configured structure on Hi-Mount Road.
Anne Hunloke. During the 1940s, Anne Hunloke’s brother Lord Hartington married Kathleen Kennedy.

“Fishing for a day with Hunter and Edgar Marston.”

“Setting off from our backyard aboard the Hellu.”
L to R.: Hunter Marston.; Edgar Marston.
Lallie Lloyd. A founder of the Penn Institute of Contemporary Art, Lallie Lloyd would later become a prolific art collector.
Gates Lloyd. In 1954, Gates Lloyd became a deputy director at the CIA, a position he held for more than a decade.

Luncheon & Swim with Dolly and Jay O’Brien
Villa El Sarmiento, 140 South Ocean Boulevard

Dolly O’Brien. Considered one of the femme fatales of her time, Dolly O’Brien was born Laura Hylan. She married four times. Following her first marriage to silk manufacturer Louis Marshall Heminway, Dolly married yeast heir Julius Fleischmann only to fall in love with polo player Jay O’Brien. Following Jay O’Brien’s death, allegedly having said no to Clark Gable, she married Count Jose Dorelis.
Jay O’Brien. In 1934 Dolly and Jay O’Brien bought El Sarmiento, designed by Addison Mizner with alterations by Joseph Urban, from Mary Duke Biddle. The O’Briens hired Maurice Fatio to design an Entresol, dining room and Olympic-sized pool with a cypress bar, introducing some new scale to go with their six fountains and cypress-floored Banquet Room. In 1936 artist Charles Baskerville painted murals for the drawing room. O’Brien, a sportsman who was an Olympic gold-medal bobsledder, died at Palm Beach in 1940; five years later, Dolly O’Brien sold the house. Today it is the Palm beach residence of David Koch.
Milton (“Doc”) Holden and Maggie Swope. A few years earlier, Doc Holden had ended his marriage to Fifi Widener Leidy.
Herbert Bayard Swope Jr. and his brother-in-law Bruce Powell.
Winthrop Aldrich. While Aldrich’s father long time US Senator Nelson Aldrich amassed a large fortune by the time of his death in 1915, a decade earlier Aldrich’s sister Abby married John D. Rockefeller Jr. President and chairman of Chase National Bank from 1930 to 1953, Winthrop Aldrich became the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom during the Eisenhower administration.
Winthrop Aldrich and Dolly O’Brien.

A Walk on Worth Avenue and Lunch at the Everglades Club

Ellen Glendinning Frazer. Worth Avenue, January 1938.
Louise Warburton (left) with Lillian Feitner at the Everglades Club.

Rhumba Night at Isabel Dodge Sloane’s house
Concha Marina. 102 Jungle Road

“Isabel Sloane decided we should learn to rhumba.” L. to r.: Winifred “Winnie” Dodge Seyburn, her sister Isabel Dodge Sloane, Mrs. Hermann “Dorothy” Oelrichs Jr., Mrs. Frederick Alger Jr., Marni Harding, Frank Boyer, and on the far right, Rosemary Crocker.
“The exhibition by Mr. and Mrs. Richards, of the Arthur Murray dance faculty, on how we should look doing the rhumba.” L. to r.: Isabel Sloane, Ruth, Marni Harding, Mr. Frank Boyer, Rosemary, Mrs. Boyer, Edith McIlvaine, Mr. and Mrs. Richards.
Isabel Dodge Sloane. “No, no Isabel, just watch your feet.”
“That’s better. Things are looking up.” Isabel in the arms of Mr. Richards and Winnie to the right.
Winifred Dodge Seyburn and Eva Spillman.
“Mr. and Mrs. Cushing at the bar.” Howard Cushing III had married Mary Ames, right, whose mother Edith was one of society’s famous Cryder triplets, Edith, Ethel and Elsie Cryder. Her Aunt Elsie was married to William Woodward.

Swim and Luncheon with Gertrude Sanford Legendre
John Sanford house, Villa Marina, North Ocean Boulevard

Gertrude Legendre.
At the table (from left to right): Mario Pansa, who married Gertrude’s sister Sarah Jane Sanford, the previous season; unidentified guest, Jane Sanford Pansa, and Sidney Legendre. After Gertrudes’s father John Sanford died, her brother Stephen and his wife Mary Sanford moved from Villa Marina to Los Incas in 1939.

Swim and Luncheon with Gertrude Conway Vanderbilt
Eastover, 1100 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan

Guests on the loggia patio overlooking the pool at Eastover, the Harold S. “Mike” and Gertrude Vanderbilt house. During the past decade, the Vanderbilt’s Fatio-designed estate became best-known as the spot where Veronica Hearst faced foreclosure. Previously, Mike and Gertrude Vanderbilt lived in Palm Beach at their Mizner-designed El Solano until the town refused to permanently close off Ocean Boulevard after the Hurricane of 1928. Mike Vanderbilt was furious and moved to Manalapan where he became mayor. During the 1930s Mike Vanderbilt’s sister Consuelo, Mme. Jacques Balsan, moved across the waterway from Eastover to Casa Alva.
Gertrude Conway Vanderbilt.
Jack Pratt.
Wadsworth “Waddy” Lewis and Libby Pratt.
Edith Woodward Bancroft and Ellen Glendinning Frazer.
Edna Tower, Morris Legendre, and Edith Bancroft.
Mr. Thomas Stone.
Gertrude Conway Vanderbilt.

27 April 1938 – 3 May 1938
A week with Sidney and Gertrude Legendre
Medway Plantation, South Carolina

A historic landmark sign. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the more than 6, 700-acre plantation appears to be currently listed for sale for $15 million.
A view of the main house.
The cypress gardens at Medway Plantation.
Another view of the plantation’s cypress gardens.
Mrs. Armant “Olive” Legendre. In 1950 “Aunt Olive’s” daughter Anne married Tobin Armstrong, of the South Texas 50,000-acre Armstrong Ranch. Anne Armstrong became the first woman to serve as US Ambassador to Great Britain. Today the family’s Armstrong Ranch is best-known as the location where several years ago Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter.
L to R.: “Gertrude gathering tennis players.”; Landine Legendre.
Tom Evans and Gertrude Legendre.

19 August 1938
The Beatrice Patterson – Rodman Wanamaker II Wedding & Reception
Duneside, Gin Lane, Southampton

The announcement and the Invitation. The ceremony at the nearby St. Andrews Dune Church was private with family and only a few friends, “simple and unattended.” Rod Wanamaker’s father Thomas Wanamaker died when he was four; his mother, was also deceased. Having remarried, his mother became known as Mrs. Archibald Thomson.
L to R.: George S. Patterson with his daughter Beatrice Patterson, “at the house before the ceremony.”; Bea’s mother, Eleanora Willing Patterson, also at the house before the ceremony.
Alfie Hoyt and Cordelia Drexel Biddle Duke Robertson with her husband T. Markoe “Tommy” Robertson behind them, making their way by the photographers and into the church.
Bea and her father making their way to the church.
L to R.: At the church, Bea and Rod “coming down the aisle.”; The wedding cake.
At the reception, Rod Wanamaker and Mrs. Harry Payne “Melissa” Bingham.

L to R.: Architect Tommy Robertson.; Catherine Barr.
Louise Bailey Laughlin. The Thomas Laughlins lived in Manhasset where Louise and her friend Joan Whitney Payson formed the Manhasset Stable in 1933.
Lallie Lloyd and Nelson Slater.
“These are the people who make it easy to take a wedding group picture.” L. to r.: Patty Hoyt, Nelson Doubleday, Mrs. Ollie Rogers, Collie Mann, Ollie Rogers, and Mrs. Frederick Whitstock.
Meade Barr and Ailsa Mellon Bruce. David and Ailsa Bruce along with the Harry and Melissa Bingham hosted the wedding dinner the night before the ceremony.
Front: Willing Patterson (married to Laura Delano, a Roosevelt cousin) and his brother George S. Patterson Jr. Middle row: George S. Patterson Sr. and his wife Eleanora Willing Patterson. Back: Mr. and Mrs. Rodman Wanamaker II.
“Le depart.” “Everyone began throwing rice at each other before Bea and Rod came out to make their getaway.” The couple honeymooned at a hunting lodge in England. Mr. Wanamaker’s third wife would be Vivian Dixon Boardman; his fourth, a 1954 marriage to Virginia Thaw.

Photographs are from the Collection of Lucius Ordway Frazer.

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