Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

Opening Exhibits, April 1

OPENING EXHIBITS, APRIL 1 by Margaret Whitehead The excitement at Blithewold is building as we prepare the Mansion for the season’s opening on April 1st. Floors have been polished, carpets cleaned; paintwork and wallpaper conservation … Read more.

Mauve Evening Dress

Marjorie Van Wickle Lyon’s Evening Dress, 1932   In the thirty years since Marjorie’s pink party dress (shown in the first exhibit case) was fabricated, styles and construction changed considerably. Trains disappeared, and punishing boned … Read more.

Pink Party Dress

Marjorie Van Wickle’s Party Dress, 1903  Marjorie Van Wickle had this party dress made in Vienna when she visited in 1903 as part of her Grand Tour. It was designed and constructed by Drecoll’s, the … 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 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.