Holiday House is an 11,000 square feet (1,000 m ) home, sitting on five acres in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, built in 1930 for the Harkness family, heirs to Standard Oil. An embittered tormentor showing up at the funeral of his fallen object of obsession. And what place better for the troupe to practice than at her summer home in Rhode Island? Rumor has it, the eccentric Harkness began to be pushed out of social circles not long after William Hale's death. And why would she write a song about her? The song gives an overview of the life story of American socialite Rebekah Harkness, who was the previous owner of Swift’s Watch Hill, Rhode Island home.But while the famous “Holiday House” may have been in part the connection that drew Swift to write about Harkness, “[Harkness’s] saltbox house on the coast” is not where her story begins. Iyengar and her pet raccoon. “If you have a mixed group of people who've been there before and people who haven't, [the people who’ve been there] are like, 'Oh, she's going to do the tour. The Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House, that featured eight kitchens and 21 baths. 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. These continued after her husband's death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D. The singer's beloved 1930s Cape Cod Traditional sits on five acres and has more than 700 feet of beachfront bliss. Married just seven years, Harkness inherited her husband’s vast … Taylor Swift surprised her fans at the end of last week when she released a new album, Folklore, with many listening to new songs and the meanings behind the singer's lyrics.. One song that has drawn a lot of attention is The Last Great American Dynasty, which tells the story of socialite Rebekah Harkness, who was the former owner of Taylor's current Rhode Island mansion, Holiday House. The widow went on to marry twice more, for a total of four marriages throughout her lifetime. In 2020, Swift wrote the song "The Last Great American Dynasty" for her eighth studio album Folklore (2020), in which she tells Harkness' life story. Taylor Swift bought Holiday House for US$17 million in 2013. Swift also shared that every single room of Holiday House “has a different anecdote about Rebekah Harkness.” Clearly, Swift is fascinated with the home's … Rebekah West Harkness (April 17, 1915 – June 17, 1982) also known as Betty Harkness, was an American composer, sculptor, dance patron, and philanthropist who founded the Harkness Ballet. The lyrics go on to highlight some of Harkness’ more famous antics, which include cleaning her … This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis is a home decor and culture writer based in New York. [11], La villa "Holiday House" di Harkness a Watch Hill, Rhode Island, è stata acquisita nel 2013 dalla cantante Taylor Swift. 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. And they'll go get a drink and skip it because it's the same every time," Swift joked to EW. Here's where Swift gets linked into the story. 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. 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 married William Hale Harkness, the heir to the Standard Oil fortune. In 2013, Taylor Swift bought Harkness’ former home — Holiday House — in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. These continued after her husband's death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D. It was also, infuriatingly to the neighbors, a place for the Harkness Ballet dancers to practice on the lawn. The Holiday House was once owned by Rebekah Harkness. William Harkness bought Holiday House in 1948, a year after their marriage. Born Rebekah West in St. Louis, Harkness spent her childhood summers in Watch Hill. Just like with Swift’s Cornelia Street rental apartment, this Rhode Island mansion has also been written and sung about on her most recent album; Folklore. In 1962 she turned her Rhode Island estate, Holiday House, into a summer dance camp for the entire Joffrey […] The Harkness couple purchased a waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which the two nicknamed the "Holiday House." 50 Fabulous Drinks Tables for Any Occasion, 40 Museums You Need to Visit in Your Lifetime, 30 Radiant Paint Colors for Your Dining Room, 13 Black-Owned Home Brands To Support Now. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Taylor Swift also compares her life to Rebekah Harkness whether it was about their lavish parties or to the harsh criticism they faced. “Free of women with madness, their men and bad habits/And then it … Holiday House is the name of Swift’s Watch Hill mansion. She first found out about Harkness through “the real estate agent who was walking us through the property,” according to her Entertainment Weekly interview. 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. Rarely does singer and songstress Taylor Swift write songs about someone outside her immediate circle. Well, as it turns out, long before Swift began throwing lavish, star studded (and, some neighbors might say, raucous) fourth of July bashes at her $17 million estate in Watch Hill, the property had already earned the nickname of “Holiday House” thanks to its former owner: Rebekah Harkness. Read on for the true story behind "The Last Great American Dynasty's" lyrics. Indeed, the latter designed the $250,000 urn that her ashes were stored in after her death from cancer aged 67 in 1982. Harkness' "Holiday House" in Watch Hill, Rhode Island was acquired in 2013 by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. She adds, “As soon as I found out about her, I wanted to know everything I could. The woman who owned Holiday House for more than 30 years, from the 1950s until her death in 1982, was famous for her glamorous parties that brought in … Rebekah West Harkness (April 17, 1915 – June 17, 1982) also known as Betty Harkness, was an American composer, sculptor, dance patron, and philanthropist who founded the Harkness Ballet. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, See Inside This $160M Mansion Heading to Auction, Inside "Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square", Why You Need This All-Access Design Program, A Design Loving Non-Designer Hacks a High-End Reno, Inside Elvis Presley's Palm Springs Honeymoon Home, Gigi Hadid Reveals Her Daughter's Nursery Design, The History of the Home Where Vice Presidents Live. It's no surprise it was left abandoned upon Harkness's death until Swift began hosting the next generation of A-list parties set on the Atlantic Ocean in 2013. Swift also shared that every single room of Holiday House “has a different anecdote about Rebekah Harkness.” Clearly, Swift is fascinated with the home's former owner, and we certainly can’t blame her—who else steals their neighbor’s cat (changed to "dog" in the song, given Swift's love for cats) and dyes its fur key lime green? The woman is Rebekah West Harkness, a famously wild heiress from St. Louis who once owned the Rhode Island coastal mansion that Swift purchased … Salinger and Salvador Dali. This content is imported from YouTube. Rebekah Harkness a tout perdu : sa dynastie, son patrimoine, ses enfants. Holiday House was owned by Rebekah Harkness, an eccentric patron of the arts and founder of the Harkness Ballet. In her recent Disney+ film, Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, Swift shared that she had been wanting to write a song about Harkness since 2013, the year she purchased the Watch Hill, Rhode Island house. Together, the pair resided in Rhode Island, in a home called "Holiday House" that Swift now owns. But equally unapologetic as Swift. (Yes, the seaside mansion that was the … She just did whatever she wanted.”, 44 Very Merry Christmas Table Decorations, Ty Pennington Just Got His Own Show on HGTV, This Video Shows How to Wrap a Gift Without Tape. So then Rebekah married big-shot oil tycoon William Hale Harkness. Taylor Swift Sings About Her Rhode Island Home, See Taylor Swift’s Insane Real Estate Portfolio, This Countryside Home Gets a Contemporary Update. In her day, Harkness was as much of a media darling as Swift is now, and often the target of unfavorable headlines and press coverage. Not just going to performances, but sponsoring entire ballet companies, buying up real estate for them and sending them on world tours. Swift bought her "Holiday House" in 2013 for $17 million. It was also, infuriatingly to the neighbors, a place for the Harkness Ballet dancers to practice on the lawn. "But for me, I'm telling the story with the same electric enthusiasm, because it's just endlessly entertaining to me that this fabulous woman lived there. Harkness was born an heir to a banking fortune and grew up in St. Louis, then attended finishing school in South Carolina, where she pursued her passion for music and dance. Rebekah married William Hale Harkness, the heir to the Standard Oil fortune. She inherited the house from her … Harkness was indeed a divorcée who married William Hale Harkness, whose family founded the Standard Oil company. It was also, infuriatingly to the neighbors, a place for the Harkness Ballet dancers to practice on the lawn. Salinger and Salvador Dali. Rebekah was a beautiful, talented, divorcee originally from St. Louis, and her husband, William Hale Harkness, was heir to the Standard Oil fortune. And this isn’t a newfound interest on Swift’s part. The character named Bill is in reference to Rebekah Harkness’s second husband, William Hale Harkness, who was in fact the heir to Standard Oil. A seventeen-year-old standing on a porch, learning to apologize. Born Rebekah West in St. Louis, Harkness spent her childhood summers in Watch Hill. It's a biography about the socialite with the subtitle “She had everything—beauty, wealth, and glamour—until obsession, madness, and suicide destroyed it all. While Swift’s Fourth of July soirees at the Holiday House have become the stuff of Instagram legend, they’re clearly nothing compared to what the previous lady of the house got up to. Holiday House is one of Taylor Swift’s many homes, and it encompasses 11,000 square feet and sits on 5.23 acres. So I started reading. 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. This was the same house Swift purchased in 2013 for nearly $18 million, where she's hosted many a summer bash with model friends and big-screen beaus. Oh, I learned about her as soon as I was being walked through [her former Rhode Island] home. Folklore, Taylor Swift's latest album, is officially out, which means it's time to close-read the lyrics and find the hidden meaning. Swift explains it briefly in a verse—Harkness once owned Holiday House, the singer’s current Watch Hill, Rhode Island, home. She reportedly paid in cash. She employed nine people in … Like Harkness, her arrival caused a stir. Holiday House was owned by Rebekah Harkness, an eccentric patron of the arts and founder of the Harkness Ballet. Of course, we would love to score an invite, but for now, we’ll just have to listen to her song that was inspired by both the home (known as Holiday House) and Harkness: “The Last Great American Dynasty.”. Inspired by the house's history and its former owner, Rebekah Harkness, Swift released a song titled "The Last Great American Dynasty" from her eighth studio album Folklore (2020). She most notably patronized the Robert Joffrey Ballet, which performed for John F. Kennedy at the White House (per his invitation) in a one-act, $135,000 production, before eventually establishing her own ballet company where she could have total control. ", "Fifty years is a long time / Holiday House sat quietly on the beach free of women with madness, their men and bad habits / And then it was bought by me," Swift sings in "The Last Great American Dynasty.". This is vastly different from Harkness's own design that included eight kitchens and 21 bathrooms, which rather effectively prevented her from having to run into her three children while they were in the house. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Craig Unger authored Blue Blood in 1988, six years after Harkness's death (in which her remains were placed in a $250,000 urn designed by Dalí). The couple was married just seven years before William passed away of a heart attack, leaving the Harkness fortune and Holiday House to Rebekah. Since 2013, it has been owned by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. The question Swift would have you ask is how much of this reputation was deserved and how much was the result of gossip or judgmental peers. And it seems the singer has enjoyed delving into the history of its former owner, whom she refers to as "the maddest woman this town has ever seen" who had "a marvelous time ruining everything.". It’s based on a story about Rebekah West Pierce Harkness, known as Betty to her friends. She was briefly married to a photographer before marrying philanthropist William Hale Harkness, half-brother of Henry Flagler, in 1945. What does this socialite and ballet enthusiast have to do with Swift? They nicknamed the property as their "Holiday House." Just like with Swift’s Cornelia Street rental apartment, this Rhode Island mansion has also been written and sung about on her most recent album; Folklore. Taylor Swift bought Holiday House for US$17 million in 2013. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Dame Gladys Cooper's Most Stylish Moments, Our Exclusive Scarf Design with Lisa Fine, Joy of Design: Artist Fletcher Williams III, 25 Lessons in Effortless Style from Jane Birkin, The Beguiling History of Château de Chenonceau, 5 Pieces of Timeless Jewelry to Give This Year, Tanzanite and Turquoise for December Birthdays. Rebekah Harkness spent much of the Standard Oil fortune she inherited on the ballet. The two purchased a mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which they nicknamed Holiday House. She … Holiday House, part of which was torn down in the 1970s because it was so big, had 40 rooms and 21 bathrooms in Rebekah Harkness' day. An exiled man walking the bluffs of land that isn't his own, wondering how it all went so terribly, terribly wrong. Learn the story of Rebekah Harkness, the subject of Taylor Swift's song "The Last Great American Dynasty," who once owned her home in Rhode Island. Veranda participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Iyengar.) Together, the pair resided in Rhode Island, in a home called "Holiday House" that Swift now owns. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. It’s based on a story about Rebekah West Pierce Harkness, known as Betty to her friends. Rebekah West Harkness (April 17, 1915 – June 17, 1982) also known as Betty Harkness, was an American composer, sculptor, dance patron, and philanthropist who founded the Harkness Ballet.Her marriage to William Hale "Bill" Harkness, an attorney and heir to the Standard Oil fortune of William L. Harkness, made her one of the wealthiest women in America. “I wonder if Taylor Swift might like to hear the story of … Her second husband died nine years later, leaving her a $27 million fortune (worth more than $250 million today), which she reportedly squandered with amazing speed. In 2013, Swift bought the same home for $17 million and also named it her "Holiday House.” The House That Inspired "The Great Gatsby" Is Hitting the Market, The Powerful Jewels of Catherine the Great, How To Make Your Favorite Summer Flowers Last Through Fall. The woman who owned Holiday House for more than 30 years, from the 1950s until her death in 1982, was famous for her glamorous parties that brought in the likes of Salvador Dalí. 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. The story of Rebekah Harkness is way more complicated than Taylor Swift lets on. After their seven-year marriage (William died in 1954, from a heart attack), Harkness inherited Holiday House in Watch Hill, R.I. (above). Harkness drew glares for her parties at Holiday House, as did Swift: Who could forget the frenzy over her celeb-studded Fourth of July bash? The house sat empty on the beach until Taylor bought it in 2013 for an alleged all-cash deal of $17 million. Everything you need to know about Rebekah West Harkness, the former owner of Taylor Swift's Watch Hill, Rhode Island, manse. Swift bought Harkness’s Rhode Island “Holiday House” in 2013. I found her so interesting.”. https://www.popsugar.com/home/taylor-swift-rhode-island-home-history-47648844 And I tell them different anecdotes about each room, because I've done that much research on this house and this woman.” This should come as no surprise, given the numerous lyrics in the aforementioned song that fully disclose how eccentric Harkness was, including “Filled the pool with champagne and swam with the big names.” It’s true: Harkness allegedly cleaned the home’s pool using Dom Pérignon. House Beautiful participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Multiple newspaper articles chronicle the history of the Rhode Island mansion, nicknamed Holiday House: The Day, a local Connecticut paper, said Howard Hughes used to stop by. Rebekah was a beautiful, talented, divorcee originally from St. Louis, and her husband, William Hale Harkness, was heir to the Standard Oil fortune. The Harknesses were married for a brief period—just seven years. Also known as Betty Harkness, the … A misfit widow on the gleeful revenge on the town that cast her out. The Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House, that featured eight kitchens and 21 baths. Taylor Swift • Holiday House • Rebekah Harkness • Folklore Taylor Swift • The Last Great American Dynasty • Holiday House Rhode Island • Taylor Swift Socialite Calendar Guides The mansion was once owned by Rebekah Harkness, a high profile socialite who famously married into the Standard Oil fortune. Here, we … Holiday House, part of which was torn down in the 1970s because it was so big, had 40 rooms and 21 bathrooms in Rebekah Harkness' day. (The flamboyant Mrs. Harkness reportedly entertained guests ranging from Salvador Dalí to B.K.S. Well, as it turns out, long before Swift began throwing lavish, star studded (and, some neighbors might say, raucous) fourth of July bashes at her $17 million estate in Watch Hill, the property had already earned the nickname of “Holiday House” thanks to its former owner: Rebekah Harkness. ", Swift highlights many of Harkness's quirks and her larger-than-life persona—filling up her swimming pool with Dom Perignon and painting an angry neighbor's dog green (it was actually a cat)—and she's not the only one to become fascinated by Harkness. In her day, Harkness was as much of a media darling as Swift is now, and often the target of unfavorable headlines and press coverage. 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. This content is imported from YouTube. She's got to tell you the story about how the ballerinas used to practice on the lawn.' 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. After an attempt at making it big as a singer and releasing several albums, Harkness shifted her talents (read: wealth) to dance and established the Rebekah Harness Foundation, which sponsored various ballet companies and took them on tours around the world with the heiress at the helm. Neighbors were concerned about fans and paparazzi. 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.'. Of course, some of Swift's friends know all too well about her home tours, given how often they must visit (see: her very Instagrammed Fourth of July parties at the house over the years). Lovestruck kids wandering up and down the evergreen High Line. (He died of a heart attack in 1954.) Every item on this page was hand-picked by a House Beautiful editor. Harkness and her husband were owners of a waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter revealed that she gives historical tours of her Rhode Island home to her inner circle, thanks to her extensive research on both the house itself and its former owner, socialite Rebekah Harkness. 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 do 'The Tour,' in quotes, where I show everyone through the house. ", It’s not unusual to give a house tour to your friends and family when they visit for the first time—and it turns out Taylor Swift is no exception to that tradition. When did you first learn about Rebekah Harkness? [11], La villa "Holiday House" di Harkness a Watch Hill, Rhode Island, è stata acquisita nel 2013 dalla cantante Taylor Swift. But equally unapologetic as Swift. Every item on this page was carefully chosen by a Veranda editor. The newlywed couple purchased the 40-room mansion in 1947 and called it ‘Holiday House’ where Rebekah entertained Salvador Dalí, her personal yogi B.K.S. After Rebekah Harkness died in 1982, ... “Fifty years is a long time/Holiday House sat quietly on that beach,” she adds. So then Rebekah married big-shot oil tycoon William Hale Harkness. My grandfather, Dean, landing at Guadalcanal in 1942. The 11,000-square-foot mansion boasts seven bedrooms and nine baths. Romance and heartbreak (and revenge) ballads make up the primary focus of most albums; however, her newest album, Folklore, which debuted today, features a song, titled "The Last Great American Dynasty," about a New England philanthropist and patron of the arts, Rebekah West Harkness. Rebekah, who also founded her own ballet company, died of cancer in 1982. The 10-time Grammy winner originally learned about Rebekah - who died, age 67, from cancer in 1982 - after buying her 'Holiday House' mansion in Watch Hill, RI for $17M in 2013. 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 … Yes, this is the house she sings about in "The Last Great American Dynasty! "The Last Great American Dynasty" tells the story of Rebekah Harkness, the socialite who used to live in Swift's Rhode Island mansion. When describing what inspired her eighth album, which she wrote in quarantine, Swift writes: "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 those I wish I hadn't. William Harkness bought Holiday House in 1948, a year after their marriage. 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 Rhode Island, lived a … Going to performances, but sponsoring entire Ballet companies, buying up real for. We … Rebekah Harkness, the eccentric Harkness began to be pushed out of social circles not long after Hale... And songstress Taylor Swift also compares her life to Rebekah Harkness, a place for the Harkness.. 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