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Aug 29, 2000
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The past week was pleasantly filled with day trips to old Massachusetts cemeteries and passenger houses along the route. Most thrilling was the opportunity to visit Mary Wellman's home in Topsfield- a picture book New England town just north of Boston. The current owner remodelled just 5 years ago, but he was happy to show off Mary's entertainment addition which was enormous and panelled walls and ceiling with pine. The lady of the house is quite an authority on Mary Wellman. The house itself can only be called an estate, and most interesting of all, Mary cashed in her gas company stocks and built the sprawling home on many wooded acres to furnish the backdrop to one of her passions- botany! On the property are many specimen trees including two enormous sequoias and a rare larch. Mary loved to entertain, was an enthusiastic supporter of Girl Scouting, and many other civic functions and organizations. As she became more elderly, Mary built a little home next door for her nurse-companion. A very short distance from her home was that of her mother,Elizabeth Lines, which is shown below. The venerable Colonial home dates to mid 18th century. One could not help but reflect on those in steerage who had to leave homes behind, and many others who would never see beloved homes again. I hope to add more on the webpage, and as always, would be grateful for any photographs ET folks would like to send. I also wonder if Bruce Ismay's home sold last year?
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Melissa E. Kalson

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Hi Shelley..
This is truly wonderful. I look forward to seeing other Titanic homes. Truly unique! I haven't seen anything like this before. Great idea. Sincerely, Melissa K.
 
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Trent Pheifer

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Hey Shelley!

The site is looking GREAT! Who's house are you heading to next? Are you still going around to cemetaries? Have fun and good luck!

-Trent
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Hi Trent- I have logged over 900 miles this past week- but with friends along the miles pass. It's always more fun to have a navigator and someone to hold the flashlight after dark! We visited 20 Titanic and 2 Lusitania graves over the weekend and will be doing several articles for ET on some of the exciting findings. Here are some of the photos I have had time to get posted . The Mount Auburn page will be finished tomorrow. The next home? Well- I am excited to say it looks like Francis Millet's art studio in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. http://www.revdma2.com/Mass.html
 
Jul 12, 2003
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Thank you for the pic....I am from MA and many memories came back...I've been doing genealogy for years and I have ancestors that lived in Topfield...I know this comment isn't Titanic related...but I just wanted to say thank you to Shelley for sharing.
 

Arne Mjåland

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Oct 21, 2001
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According to the obituary about Mary C Wellmann from a Topsfield paper November 23 1975 she left two sons, Howard L. Wellmann of Santa Fe and Bradford S Wellmann of Bangor, Maine and a doughter Mrs Prudence Leonard of Manchester.
Any of you have had any contact with any of them?
 
Mar 23, 2003
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I have a question that maybe some of the passenger experts can answer.

Two years ago, I was taking a cruise up the East Coast. One of the stops was Bar Harbor, Maine. While enroute to Acadia(sp)Park we drove past a mansion that was built for a woman by her very well-to-do husband. The tour guide told us that the woman went down on the Titanic. I cannot remember any name being given out or else I didn't catch the name as he was given out.

Can anyone advise me if this is true?
 
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Brian Hawley

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Barbara, since so few first class women died, I would say the Bar Harbor tale is unlikely. George Washington Vanderbilt and his wife owned a large home in Bar Harbor named Point D'accade. The Vanderbilts were booked on Titanic but took Olympic home the week before Titanic sailed. Sadly the home they owned in Bar Harbor burned down in the late 1940s.

Hope this helps.

Brian
 
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Barbara--could have been Helen Churchill Candee who was a SURVIVOR of Titanic. She had a fine home in that area.

Phil
 
Mar 23, 2003
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Thanks so much for the information.

The mansion was still there and it was magnificent in size. I do remember the tour guide remarking that the woman did not want to marry the man until he gave her three things; a mansion, a trip on the Titanic and a magnificent piece of jewelry.

Barbara
 
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She sounds like quite a gal! I called the historical society in Bar Harbor and they promise to get back to me Monday about the mansion. Bar Harbor was a real Newport North during the Gilded Age. Even President Taft played golf at the Kebo Club. The Pot and Kettle Club and Morrell racetrack were two other haunts of the rich and famous. JJ Astor is reputed to have first met second wife Madeleine Force there. It is of particular interest as the place where the dirigible Shenandoah visited, as well as the quarantine port where the German ship Kronprinzessin Cecilie was impounded in WWI- in itself quite a tale! A fictional account of how the Cecilie tried to masquarade as Titanic's sister Olympic may be found in The Magic Ship by Parotti- a great read. Thanks for the information Barbara about this house- sounds like one to visit. Am glad it did not burn in the Great Fire of 1947 which destroyed a lot of Real Estate there. Fred and George Vanderbilt had big houses as well as Evelyn Walsh McClean (whose son married Lucile Carter's daughter Betty). One more Titanic link of sorts- painter Frederic Church went there to paint- his most famous topic- icebergs!
 
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I just thought of a possible connection which might be the answer. In 1916 Colonel Morrell built a fabulous estate called Thirlstane for his wife Louise Drexel and a convent called St. Edward's which they gave to the Church. He died before it was finished, and Louise's sister Katherine would come up to visit her there- she recently became St. Katherine Drexel in October 2000- a Roman Catholic convert who became founder of a religious order and built many schools for minorities in Philadelphia. JJ Astor's son who was born to Madeleine after the 1915 sinking had a daughter named Jackie who ended up marrying John Drexel's son. I know this only because the Drexels are members of my church and still have a home in Newport and Palm Beach. Maybe this is the mansion in question. The convent was willed over to the historical society eventually and it is currently their headquarters.
 
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Another thought- the Speddens had a summer home in Bar Harbor- in fact I think Douglas was struck by a truck in front of it when he was nine. I will ask if the house is still standing.
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Rene Harris had a camp in Maine. She refers to it in letters and in her unfinished/unpublished memoir "My Scrambled Autobiography."
 
Mar 23, 2003
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Shelly, when you find out I would really be interested in finding out if this story is true or fictional. Over the years incorrect facts can get intertwined with a story and the real facts sometimes gets left behind.
 
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Barbara- well folks are sure friendly in old Bar Harbor. The mansion was completed in 1914 by Professor Rudolph Brunow as a monument for his fiancee who was coming from Europe aboard Titanic- she perished but he built it anyway. It is called "High Seas" and is currently owned by Jackson Laboratories (a cancer research facility) who use it regularly for conferences. Thanks to Angela at Ollie's Trolley's! A film crew came last year to follow up on a story that the place was haunted by the ill-fated bride! The locals were intrigued by our interest -had never known about any "Titanic societies" , websites, etc! The Captain is trout fishing up there now- if I can reach him via moose- I will ask him to snap a photo of the place.
 
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The plot thickens! The local museum curator called and gave me quite an earful about Titanic and Bar Harbor. Prof. Brunow was from New Jersey by way of Germany it would seem- no one seems to know the name of his ill-fated bride if she really existed. He did marry a German gal- and there is a photo of her on the ship Kaiser Wilhelm. The poor professor fell from a precipice near the highest cliff, near Bar Harbor called Champlain, and died. Sad tale. He still has family in Jersey. But as we were gabbing away about his, she mentioned she knew a Thayer relative in Bar Harbor whose Grandpa was AJ Cassatt- of Mary Cassatt fame , her mother being Mary Cassatt Thayer-so information is forthcoming on that front- all very interesting. The wedding of Madeleine Astor and Mr. Dick (The sugar King) took place in Bar Harbor- poor Madeleine literally ran in and out of the episcopal church there with husband #2 to avoid publicity. A write up of the nups is in the mail so I will have those to share by Tuesday. It would seem Madeleine and JJ met either at the Kebo Golf Club or The Bar Harbor Club- both still functioning. The Pot and Kettle Club was a men's club only. Bar Harbor has some very nice items from the Kronzprincessin Cecilie including some of her railing, a handkerchief, inkwell, passenger list and zillions of photos including some of the gold bullion being removed when she was quarantined. I think the next road trip for me is Bar Harbor!
 
Mar 23, 2003
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Shelly-Thanks you so much for investigating into the full explanation on what the full story was. I just caught a glance of the mansion and would be interested in seeing recent pictures.

Isn't it amazing how after 91 years stories surrounding the Titanic keep coming to the surface.

Barbara
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Dear Shelley,

Congratulations on another beautifully done site. And thank you for sharing these images.

Naturally I'm looking forward to seeing Francis Millet's art studio in East Bridgewater, Mass. I was in Broadway in the Cotswolds in England years ago-before I knew Millet had a beloved home there. I regret very much not seeing it. Millet was also a housemate of Major Butt, while in Washington, D.C., sharing a large house at 2000 G Street NW, an old image of which I've seen published only once. I have yet to determine if either of his D.C. addresses still stand. I'm going to be in Augusta in a few weeks and have two former childhood addresses for Archie that I'll look up. If I get some good pics I'll send them to you.

Shelley, did you know that Church's magnificent painting, "The Iceberg", is in the Dallas Museum of Fine Art? I remember when it was "rediscovered" some years ago, and it was a big deal for DMFA when they acquired it.

Warmest regards,
Doug
 
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