Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

The Pardees

The name Pardee is derived from the French oath par Dieu which was Anglicised to Parde, Pardy, Pardie, and ultimately to Pardieu and Pardee. Around 1530 these families were living in the Normandy region of … Read more.

Bristol Phoenix, Tuesday, June 22, 1897: Opening of a New Golf Club House

*Article from the Bristol Phoenix, Tuesday, June 22, 1897* The formal opening of the new club house of the Bristol Golf Club took place Saturday afternoon and proved to be a very pleasant occasion. The … Read more.

Fox Dressmaking Company

The Fox Company, Bessie Van Wickle-McKee’s favorite dressmaker, was one of the oldest and most elite dressmaking establishments in the United States.  Founded by the four Fox sisters in 1885, it occupied an elegant house … Read more.

Italian Tiles & The Brokaw Clock

Italian Tiles  A box of left-over tiles from the Breakfast Porch was recently discovered in the basement. They revealed that these much-admired pink poppy tiles were made in Italy sometime around the turn of the twentieth century and … Read more.

The Stickley Room

Newer members may think we have a new room at Blithewold – the small room across from Augustine’s on the second floor. Older members may reminisce and recognize that it is now exactly as it … Read more.

A Dog’s Life at Blithewold

This amusing article was written by our dear friend and colleague, Mary Philbrick, eleven years ago.  It is as charming today as it was then! Blithewold’s Great Lawn is a perfect place for dogs to … Read more.

Bountifall

It isn’t easy to let go of an amazing season in the gardens but at some point in the fall we will have to. Just not quite yet! There’s more activity and color in the … Read more.

Time to tell

One of the things that sets Blithewold apart from other summer cottages in Rhode Island (aside from the grounds of course) are our extensive archives. The family left a priceless treasure of decades worth of … Read more.

Vacation house

I think it’s because I work here year-round that I tend to forget that Blithewold was built as a summer retreat. The Van Wickle/McKee family came up from Pennsylvania and later down from Boston and … Read more.

The Great Lawn

It’s weird that I’m compelled to write about a lawn when the pink styrax is in bloom and the roses look so pretty but the other day a visitor asked me what turned out to … Read more.