Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

A New Portrait of Augustine

When visitors take the special tour of our extensive Archives and Collections department on the third floor, they invariably comment that we must know everything there is to know about the Pardee/Van Wickle family. But … Read more.

A New Painting by Marjorie

Blithewold has in its collection more than 500 paintings by Marjorie Van Wickle Lyon. Some are exhibited in the Mansion; many more are stored safely in the Archives and Collections facility on the third floor. … Read more.

Textile Conservation in Marjorie’s Bedroom

Blithewold’s Collections Committee decided last year that it would develop a project to repair and conserve the textile collection in the Mansion, including bed coverings, furniture upholstery, and window treatments.  Everything, by definition, is more … Read more.

Educating Marjorie

Marjorie Van Wickle was born in 1883 in Cleveland, Ohio.  Little is known about her early education until the family moved back to Hazleton, Pennsylvania, in 1892.  There her parents, Augustus and Bessie Van Wickle, … Read more.

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.