A Visit to the Astor's Beechwood


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Aug 29, 2000
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Thought you might enjoy an armchair visit to Beechwood. The photographs were taken last Sunday on a perfect June day. Character actors roleplay -I met J.J. under a tree having tea-of course it was "1890" that day so he had not heard of Titanic. Happy yesterdays!
http://www.revdma2.c om/Beechwood.html
 
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This is the front portico and entry door from which JJ and Madeleine departed for their honeymoon in September, 1911. Currently the mansion is undergoing renovations. I was happy to see Tuesday that the parquet floors are being repaired, the furnishings reupholstered, and walls painted. They reopen this weekend for tours. This is the only mansion which features actors in 1896 roles-as if Mrs. Astor were still running the house. This will be the first stop on the Gilded Age Tour in April. They are very interested in the Titanic connection and plan to stock the new gift shop with items reflecting the Astor connection to Titanic. Can we help 'em? - you bet!
 
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Melissa E. Kalson

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Thanks Shelley for the lovely photos. I also read on their site that you can host wedding receptions and such there. Wouldn't that be grand? My husband and I are planning a renewal ceremony in 2007 (our 20th wedding anniversary). He promised me that I could have the big wedding we didn't have the first time around. And I'd have a dress made from that time period. I'm drooling over having a wedding ceremony there. (Dreaming of course
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Sincerely, Melissa K.
 
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Dreams can come true- I have all the prices for functions there right here on my desk- they are charming folks at Beechwood- and yes...pricey!
I have enjoyed learning about Molly Brown's trips to see Mrs. Astor at Beechwood. Apparently she was a great favorite with the servants who adored her- she knew all their names and would make them smile when she would wink and say "Here comes Aw-stor!" Once when she mixed up the right wine for the course, she said to Caroline, " I never fool around with a lot of different wines. Just serve 'em champagne from soup to nuts and you can't go wrong!" Of her own rented Newport cottage, friends would say-"It was all front and no back- just like most of her life." They loved Molly in Newport. When the fabulous Mrs. Belmont gave a dinner party, Molly would bribe her hostess with French perfume (a LARGE bottle) for her Vichysoise recipe-and was not above buying recipes from the cook on the sly. One of her favorite dishes was Oysters Rockefeller-after a few dollars changed hands she left with the recipe. One very funny story at Newport involves Molly's first sight of a flaming pudding at a holiday dinner. As the blue flames danced around the pudding she told the story of a miner's wife back home who had to hide the lemon extract from her husband. In those days it was mostly alcohol and he would go on a binge-the air perfumed with the citrus smell and all afraid to strike a match in his presence. One day the wife went to bake a cake and the extract was all but gone. Throwing the bottle into the stove, she was startled to see blue flames leaping around inside. Mr. Astor humorously suggested maybe she was expecting a genie to pop out and give her 3 wishes. Molly laughed and replied, "She'd have probably asked for three more bottles of lemon extract!"
 
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