Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold
Household Staff at Blithewold
Blithewold and other large mansions of its era were designed on the assumption that there would always be a plentiful supply of servants. Bessie Van Wickle McKee could not have maintained her large residences without … Read more.
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.
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 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.
February at Blithewold “I Remember”
The Christmas decorations are put away for another year, and Blithewold enters a hibernation of sorts — taking a well-earned rest before the activity and commotion of preparing for another season. An icy wind is … 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.
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