Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

Happy Years At Blithewold

In the summer of 1978, eighteen months after the death of Marjorie Lyon, the East Bay Bulletin interviewed Tillie McDonnell, Marjorie’s long-time cook. Tillie had worked for Marjorie for more than forty years, and remained … Read more.

Blithewold’s Golf Club House

In 1895, when Augustus and Bessie Van Wickle purchased the 70 acre property on Ferry Road that became Blithewold, they had grand plans to make their ‘Country Place’ into an idyllic, restful retreat to share … Read more.

One Hundred Years Ago

JUNE 1916 As I write this in the middle of May we have the heating on in the offices. The Third Floor group just had lunch on the North Porch – a favorite spot to … Read more.

A Boy’s Trip to Europe, 1869

In 1869, 16-year-old Israel Pardee left his home in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, for a one-year educational journey through Europe, accompanied by his younger sister Anne. Israel (known in the family as Izzie) was Bessie McKee’s older … Read more.

A Sad Day in Hazleton, February 1923

The Pardee Mansion, built by Ario Pardee in 1859, was once the showpiece of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. It was home to Ario and Anna Maria Pardee and their 12 children including Bessie Pardee who was born … Read more.

Gettysburg, July 1863

Our collection of 500 letters from the Civil War has one glaring omission. Ario Pardee Jr.’s letters from Gettysburg are missing, and prolonged efforts to locate them (both nationally through Civil War collection experts and … Read more.

A Letter from Ario Pardee to His Two Young Sons at Boarding School, March 1851

A Letter of Guidance When Ario Pardee married his second wife, Anna Maria Robison in 1848, his domestic life became painfully stressful. His two sons from his first wife, Ario Jr. and Calvin, resented their … Read more.

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.

Cranborne Manor, Dorset, England

Blithewold Mansion was built in 1907 on the site of an earlier house which burned in the summer of 1906.  The new house was designed in an English Country Manor style. It has often been … 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.