Watch Hill – Middleburg – Palm Beach
During the carefree summer of 1938 Watch Hill Beach Club and the Misquamicut Golf Club members sharpened their backhands and refined their putts, unsuspecting of the looming disaster from the late September hurricane that would devastate their idyllic resort. But however much the Great Hurricane of 1938, as it was called, took lives, leveled picture-perfect cottages and forever reconfigured the coastline, the summer colony was quickly rebuilt unlike the chaos happening across the Atlantic where Europe was on a rapid course towards world war.
Ellen Glendinning Frazer’s images reflect the pleasures before the storm and the ruin after when she was permitted to see what was left of her summer house. Then, a tally ho to Virginia’s hunt country where she joins her Sewickley friend Ethel Shields Darlington Garrett and her husband international financier George Garrett who had positioned themselves in a Washington mansion on New Hampshire Avenue and a Middleburg farm. Following a family holiday in Chestnut Hill, Ellen and her mother retreat to Casa dei Leoni, their Palm Beach villa where the 1939 season behind the walls of one of the world’s few remaining safe havens had already begun.
September 1938, After the Great Hurricane
5 November 1938
Philip Danforth Armour and Julia Biddle Rush Henry
18 November 1938
John Morris Legendre and Nancy Newbold
November 1938 – “Horse Days in the Old Dominion”
Middleburg and Warrenton, Virginia
A Luncheon at Foxcroft hosted by Charlotte Haxall Noland
“After lunch we went to the Middleburg races …”
Luncheon with Ethel and George Garrett followed by a Skeet Shoot
The Warrenton Hunt
“Palm Beach’s Extra Man”
Casa dei Leoni
450 Worth Avenue, Palm Beach
Swim and Lunch at the Sanfords’ house
Palm Beach Country Club
Two Ball Mixed Foursome
Swim and Lunch with Isabel Dodge Sloane
Concha Marina, 102 Jungle Road
Swim and Lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Philip E. Hill
Photographs © Lucius Ordway Frazer. All rights reserved.