In The Last Great American Dynasty, Swift not only describes all of these antics, but also draws comparisons between herself and her home's former owner, singing, 'Holiday House sat quietly on that beach / Free of women with madness, their men and bad habits / And then it was bought by me.'. She married twice after her second husband's death, the latter being 20 years her junior, with both ending in divorce. Due to her family's wealth, she was raised by a series of nannies, and attended a finishing school after High School. It was also, infuriatingly to the neighbors, a place for the Harkness Ballet dancers to practice on the lawn. You can opt out at any time or find out more by reading our cookie policy. When Swift bought the property in 2013 for a reported $17 million, it was reported that her neighbours were worried she would bring too much media attention to the small town - which she did. 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One Easter egg down, hundreds more to go. One song that has drawn a lot of attention is The Last Great American Dynasty, which tells the story of socialite Rebekah Harkness, who it turns out used to own Swift's Rhode Island mansion, Holiday House. They are also available for NOOKs, iPads, and Kindles. Influenced by her surroundings, specific images popped into her head, which eventually led her to writing multiple songs. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. She was 67 years old. The ashes were placed in a … Back in 2013, the 30-year-old singer-songwriter splashed out a reported $17 million for a stately oceanside mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Press photo of Rebekah Harkness in 1966 with two o her Harkness dancers. The Last Great American Dynasty: The Untold Story of Rebekah Harkness. A week after her death on June 17, 1982, the mortal remains of Rebekah Harkness were toted home by her older daughter Terry in a Gristede's shopping bag. Taylor Swift buys Rebekah Harkness’ House. So, it all makes sense! Sadly, he died just seven years into their marriage, making her a widow aged 39. Carol Ann Mossa/Shutterstock. So then Rebekah married big-shot oil tycoon William Hale Harkness. As Swift's lyrics explain, 'Rebekah rode up on the afternoon train, it was sunny / Her saltbox house on the coast took her mind off St. Louis / Bill was the heir to the Standard Oil name and money / And the town said / “How did a middle-class divorcée do it?” / The wedding was charming, if a little gauche / There’s only so far new money goes / They picked out a home and called it “Holiday House” / Their parties were tasteful, if a little loud / The doctor had told him to settle down / It must have been her fault his heart gave out.'. Rebekah was a beautiful, talented, divorcee originally from St. Louis, and her husband, William Hale Harkness, was heir to the Standard Oil fortune. The Harkness couple purchased a waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which the two nicknamed the "Holiday House." The Harkness's Rhode Island home, Holiday House, became a hub for the social set in the town, as the couple threw raucous parties most weekends. Rebekah bought a mansion on New York’s Upper East Side and turned it into a posh training center for dancers called Harkness House. The now iconic single-initial lavaliere, immortalised in Anne Boleyn’s portrait as Queen consort to King Henry VIII, has become synonymous with the scandalous royal and her untimely end, By Rebekah Harkness inherited the vast Standard Oil fortune after her husband William Harkness died in 1953; the couple purchased the seaside mansion in 1947 as newlyweds and named it ‘Holiday House’ After her husband’s death, she remodeled the home to have 8 kitchens and 21 bathrooms so she could avoid seeing her children when she entertained guests like Salvador Dalí (who later … After throwing a series of 4 July parties with celebrity guests including Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and then-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston, the property and beach were swarmed by paparazzi, capturing every moment of the festivities. A patron of dance and medicine. Jennifer Aniston's Wise Advice for the End of 2020, Beauty Obsessives Will Love These New Products, Every Cute Bag on This List Is Under $100. The Last Great American Dynasty details the previous owners of the property, most notably Rebekah Harkness the widow of Standard Oil heir William Hale Harkness with whom she ‘ picked out a home and called in “Holiday House” ‘ shortly before he died in 1957. "This arrangement effectively kept her from having to see her three children on anything like a regular basis," said the Times of the arrangement. Rebekah married William Hale Harkness, the heir to the Standard Oil fortune. Harkness inherited her late husband's Watch Hill, Rhode Island, manse, which was known by friends, family, and distinguished celebrity guests—think Howard Hughes and Salvador Dalí—as the Holiday House. Rebekah Harkness, Self-Help Author, has inspired countless individuals to become the best version of themselves while feeling happier, more successful, and balanced. Bianca Rodriguez is the digital fellow at Marie Claire, where she covers all your favorite podcasts, Netflix shows, and celebrities ranging from Rihanna to Harry Styles. As well as the fascinating facts that have become myth - such as Harkness filling a pool with Dom Perignon, dying a cat green (a dog in Swift's song), and being kicked off a cruise for swimming nude - her 1988 biography, Blue Blood, written by Vanity Fair and New York Magazine editor Craig Unger, reveals a far more tragic story, including the fact that her childhood nanny was chosen specifically because she had worked in a mental asylum. (She would marry four times in total.). Rebekah has written THE BLISS BALANCE and TURNING THE TIDE, which are available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and various other retailers. And of course, Swift was once known for her lavish parties, filled with all her A-list besties, Anyone remember her iconic Fourth of July bashes, complete with matching swimsuits, blow-up slides, and American flag cake? Editors handpick every product that we feature. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Will's Sweet Promise to Kate Before Their Wedding, Elliot Page Thanks Fans After Coming Out as Trans, Chrissy Gets John the Same Two Gifts Every Year. "Gradually, Holiday House, as the Watch Hill estate was called, began to acquire the character of Rebekah's private salon. Welcome to Tatler. According to the New York Times, Harkness was born in 1915 to "a rich, emotionally frigid St. Louis family." The fascinating story of the most infamous necklace in British portraiture, Tiara of the Month: The fascinating origins of the Delhi Durbar tiara, The remarkable story of the Muslim Princess who spied for the British during World War II, The romantic story of Menabilly - the real life inspiration for Manderley in Daphne du Maurier's 'Rebecca'. Jack Mitchell/Getty Images; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic After Rebekah Harkness died in 1982, her daughter Terry took her mother’s remains home in a Gristede’s shopping bag, according to a … William Harkness bought Holiday House in 1948, a year after their marriage. The Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House… The Holiday House was once owned by Rebekah Harkness The mansion was once owned by Rebekah Harkness, a high profile socialite who famously married into the Standard Oil fortune. Now, her … “Is there a classy way to go?” Harkness completely remodeled Holiday House, their Rhode Island mansion. Does American Greetings Hold Taylor Swift Secrets? Rebekah Harkness asked. Rebekah Harkness is the author of LOVE AND EMPOWERMENT, THE BLISS BALANCE, and TURNING THE TIDE - THE TOP TEN PRINCIPLES OF A SUCCESS MINDSET. And this is where the connection to T. Swift comes in. When the Joffrey Ballet refused to rename their company in Harkness' honor, she withdrew funding and hired most of the Joffrey dancers to her new company, the Harkness Ballet. Swift moved into Holiday House in 2013 for $17.75 million, and it caused some drama at the time. In the 1960s, Harkness became well known as a philanthropist and patron of the arts. As Swift mentions, Harkness was also friendly with Salvador Dalí; after she died of cancer in 1982 at the age of 67, she even requested her ashes be kept in a $250,000 custom urn of the artist’s design. Lizzo Surprised Her Mom with a Car for Christmas! Emma Samuel, Noor Inayat Khan was the daughter of an Indian Sufi mystic and is the subject of a new film, A Call To Spy, By This site uses cookies to improve your experience and deliver personalised advertising. 2.6K likes. What a lovely welcome to the neighborhood! Said house (“Holiday House”) is located in the affluent village of Watch Hill in the town of Westerly, Rhode Island. Rebecca Cope. Taylor Swift has just released her eighth studio album, Folklore, and we're freaking! Taylor Swift’s home in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which was previously owned by Rebekah Harkness. Mrs. Harkness … An artist (a … 'The Great British Baking Show': Who Is Peter? Marie Claire participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. The socialite was born in 1915 to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri. When asked how often she entertains friends with the history of Rebekah Harkness and Holiday House while spending time there, Swift revealed, “Anyone who's been there before knows that I … The Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House, that featured eight kitchens and 21 baths. She was known for her rebellious streak throughout her life - as Swift's lyrics allude to - and even formed a sub-culture group of debutantes called the 'Bitch Pack' who enjoyed disrupting social events, including lacing punch with mineral oil, or performing a strip tease at a dinner. Born in 1915 in St. Louis, Missouri, her father Allen Tarwater was a powerful stockbroker, while her mother, also named Rebekah, was a perfectly turned out trophy wife. In the "Cardigan" music video—that dropped Friday at midnight—she told fans, via comment section, that she purposely hid Easter Eggs throughout all the lyrics on Folklore. Some people of the small beach community were worried Swift would bring more people (read: fans) to the quiet town, according to The Times. 'Is there a chic way to go?'" While the rest of us were hard at work making banana bread, Swift was making a stellar 16-song album, giving us songs to sing in quarantine and plenty of Easter eggs to mildly majorly obsess over. Born Rebekah West in St. Louis, Harkness spent her childhood summers in Watch Hill. This content is imported from YouTube. Hope Coke. In the most telling lyrics, Swift directly compares herself to Rebekah and all the criticisms they both faced: "There goes the maddest woman this town has ever seen/ She had a marvelous time ruining everything". Swift even mentions Rhode Island, singing: "Rebekah gave up on the Rhode Island set forever/ Flew in all her Bitch Pack friends from the city/ Filled the pool with champagne and swam with the big names/ And blew through the money on the boys and the ballet.". She went to school in South Carolina and married an advertising photographer—but it didn't work out. Swift reportedly paid for the mansion in cash. The Harkness family looked immaculate from the outside…behind closed doors, though, was another story. Together, the pair resided in Rhode Island, in a home called "Holiday House" that Swift now owns. She and her second husband William … Taylor Swift's '1989' Streamed More Than 'Witness', Taylor Swift's '1989' Is the Fastest Selling Album of the Last Decade. Taylor Swift's mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Swift tells the story of the former owner of her Rhode Island home, Holiday House, By Swift took to Twitter this week to explain to fans how she produced her album. A philanthropist. A luxurious new collaboration between two renowned British names, By Maya Asha McDonald, The royal headpiece inherited by the Queen but only worn in recent years by her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cornwall, By (It never actually happened, but still.). So prepare to go full Nancy Drew! So then Rebekah married big-shot oil tycoon William Hale Harkness. "I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I've never met, people I've known, or wish I hadn't," the singer penned in her tweet. In 2013, Swift actually purchased a house belonging to Harkness. In 1961, she became the sponsor of the late Robert Joffrey's small ballet troupe, until it folded in 1975. Harkness died of cancer in 1982. Not to mention, the governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, even proposed a tax at the time on second-homes worth more than a million dollars, otherwise known as the "Taylor Swift" tax. Salinger and Salvador Dali. Rebecca Cope, Just as the sprawling house of Manderley cast a spell over the second Mrs de Winter, so too did its real life inspiration, Menabilly, which Du Maurier eventually lived in after the novel's publication. The song ends, 'Who knows, if I never showed up, what could’ve been / There goes the loudest woman this town has ever seen / I had a marvellous time ruining everything / I had a marvellous time ruining everything / A marvellous time ruining everything / A marvellous time / I had a marvellous time. So, how does this all concern Swift? These continued after her husband's death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D. In the song, Swift sings, "They picked out a home and called it 'Holiday House,' their parties were tasteful if a little loud.". Harkness had a ballet company! But she was also known for a bunch of other, not so pleasant, things, like dyeing a dog green, moving hundreds of thousands of dollars from one bank to another to confuse her accountants, and joking about her daughter's suicide attempt. We went digging, and, Swifites, we finally cracked who "The Last Great American Dynasty" is about (no, not that Kennedy she dated): Rebekah Harkness. We may earn commission from the links on this page. Harkness had quite the life according to The New York Times. "The product of a boating accident, not foul play." It’s got … a lengthy semi-nonfictional track about Rebekah Harkness, a St. Louis–born debutante who married the heir to Standard Oil, bought a giant house in … In addition to founding the Harkness Ballet, Harkness launched a ballet school and home for the company called Harkness House, as well as … Rebekah Harkness in 1966, Taylor Swift in 2020. Rebekah Harkness. Swift bought her "Holiday House" in 2013 for $17 million. She bought that former Rhode Island home—yes, the one with all those bathrooms. The Harkness's Rhode Island home, Holiday House, became a hub for the social set in the town, as the couple threw raucous parties most weekends. Taylor Swift kaufte 2013 das ehemalige Herrenhaus von Rebekah Harkness in Rhode Island – mit dem Spitznamen „Holiday House“ – für etwa 17 Millionen US-Dollar pro Jahr Geschäftseingeweihter.Laut dem Washington PostHarkness war eine geschiedene Frau, die William Hale Harkness – den Erben der Standard Oil Company – heiratete und dafür bekannt war, extravagante Partys zu veranstalten. And since Swift is so, so famous, she naturally had to put up a ton of "No Trespassing" signs on the property that local citizens weren't too keen on. Taylor Swift surprised her fans at the end of last week when she released a new album, Folklore, with many spending the weekend dissecting the set of new songs and the meanings behind the singer's lyrics. The two purchased a mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which they nicknamed Holiday House. She was also known for her four husbands - her first was a descendant of 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pearce, while her second was the Standard Oil billionaire William Hale Harkness, through who she acquired great wealth and social standing. But equally unapologetic as Swift. Indeed, the latter designed the $250,000 urn that her ashes were stored in after her death from cancer aged 67 in 1982. Taylor Fans Think Her BF Joe Co-Wrote Two Songs, See Taylor Swift's Complete Beauty Evolution, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Salinger and Salvador Dali. Upon her death in 1982, Rebekah Harkness was called many things in her New York Times obituary. Ah, one of the many easter eggs in Folklore. Rebekah Harkness was practically destined to become a spoiled little rich girl. Through the Rebekah Harkness Foundation, Harkness sponsored Jerome Robbins and the Joffrey Ballet. Rebekah West Harkness, a philanthropist who gave millions to the dance and to medicine, died of cancer Thursday in her Manhattan home. People, the clues, write themselves. First, a brief biography: Born Rebekah Semple West in St. Louis in 1915, Harkness was a divorcée whose second marriage was to Standard Oil heir William Hale Harkness. "I wonder if Taylor Swift might like to hear the story of the time a body washed up on the beach under her Watch Hill mansion," wrote one reporter for The Day at the time of her purchase. After her husband died, Harkness renovated the house she owned in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Harkness completely renovated Holiday House, their Rhode Island mansion. ', B is for Boleyn. “Little by little, Holiday House, as the Watch Hill Estate was called, began to acquire the character of Rebekah’s private living room. 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