After their seven-year marriage (William died in 1954, from a heart attack), Harkness inherited Holiday House in Watch Hill, R.I. (above). 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? 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. The house sat empty on the beach until Taylor bought it in 2013 for an alleged all-cash deal of $17 million. Harkness and her husband were owners of a waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Taylor Swift • Holiday House • Rebekah Harkness • Folklore Taylor Swift • The Last Great American Dynasty • Holiday House Rhode Island • Taylor Swift Socialite Calendar Guides 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 … An exiled man walking the bluffs of land that isn't his own, wondering how it all went so terribly, terribly wrong. 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 … Holiday House was owned by Rebekah Harkness, an eccentric patron of the arts and founder of the Harkness Ballet. 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. 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 mansion was once owned by Rebekah Harkness, a high profile socialite who famously married into the Standard Oil fortune. Rebekah married William Hale Harkness, the heir to the Standard Oil fortune. Here, we … 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. Together, the pair resided in Rhode Island, in a home called "Holiday House" that Swift now owns. 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. “Free of women with madness, their men and bad habits/And then it … But equally unapologetic as Swift. So I started reading. 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 widow went on to marry twice more, for a total of four marriages throughout her lifetime. Lovestruck kids wandering up and down the evergreen High Line. When did you first learn about Rebekah Harkness? It was also, infuriatingly to the neighbors, a place for the Harkness Ballet dancers to practice on the lawn. “I wonder if Taylor Swift might like to hear the story of … Iyengar and her pet raccoon. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis is a home decor and culture writer based in New York. 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. [11], La villa "Holiday House" di Harkness a Watch Hill, Rhode Island, è stata acquisita nel 2013 dalla cantante Taylor Swift. Rumor has it, the eccentric Harkness began to be pushed out of social circles not long after William Hale's death. 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. 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. 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 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. Salinger and Salvador Dali. Together, the pair resided in Rhode Island, in a home called "Holiday House" that Swift now owns. 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 two purchased a mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which they nicknamed 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. What does this socialite and ballet enthusiast have to do with Swift? So then Rebekah married big-shot oil tycoon William Hale Harkness. (The flamboyant Mrs. Harkness reportedly entertained guests ranging from Salvador Dalí to B.K.S. Rebekah was a beautiful, talented, divorcee originally from St. Louis, and her husband, William Hale Harkness, was heir to the Standard Oil fortune. William Harkness bought Holiday House in 1948, a year after their marriage. It’s based on a story about Rebekah West Pierce Harkness, known as Betty to her friends. Every item on this page was hand-picked by a House Beautiful editor. The woman is Rebekah West Harkness, a famously wild heiress from St. Louis who once owned the Rhode Island coastal mansion that Swift purchased … The story of Rebekah Harkness is way more complicated than Taylor Swift lets on. 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. 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. 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. These continued after her husband's death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D. Salinger and Salvador Dali. Rebekah, who also founded her own ballet company, died of cancer in 1982. 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. 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. 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. Rarely does singer and songstress Taylor Swift write songs about someone outside her immediate circle. She reportedly paid in cash. Folklore, Taylor Swift's latest album, is officially out, which means it's time to close-read the lyrics and find the hidden meaning. 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). 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. Iyengar.) Taylor Swift also compares her life to Rebekah Harkness whether it was about their lavish parties or to the harsh criticism they faced. Here's where Swift gets linked into the story. She was briefly married to a photographer before marrying philanthropist William Hale Harkness, half-brother of Henry Flagler, in 1945. 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. 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. It was also, infuriatingly to the neighbors, a place for the Harkness Ballet dancers to practice on the lawn. 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). (Yes, the seaside mansion that was the … A seventeen-year-old standing on a porch, learning to apologize. Married just seven years, Harkness inherited her husband’s vast … Also known as Betty Harkness, the … 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, 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. 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 explains it briefly in a verse—Harkness once owned Holiday House, the singer’s current Watch Hill, Rhode Island, home. 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. 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. Taylor Swift bought Holiday House for US$17 million in 2013. This content is imported from YouTube. She inherited the house from her … 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.". Harkness' "Holiday House" in Watch Hill, Rhode Island was acquired in 2013 by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. 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. My grandfather, Dean, landing at Guadalcanal in 1942. Swift bought her "Holiday House" in 2013 for $17 million. In 1962 she turned her Rhode Island estate, Holiday House, into a summer dance camp for the entire Joffrey […] So then Rebekah married big-shot oil tycoon William Hale Harkness. 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. 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. Indeed, the latter designed the $250,000 urn that her ashes were stored in after her death from cancer aged 67 in 1982. 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. I found her so interesting.”. https://www.popsugar.com/home/taylor-swift-rhode-island-home-history-47648844 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. The Holiday House was once owned by Rebekah Harkness. It was also, infuriatingly to the neighbors, a place for the Harkness Ballet dancers to practice on the lawn. Rebekah Harkness spent much of the Standard Oil fortune she inherited on the ballet. Born Rebekah West in St. Louis, Harkness spent her childhood summers in Watch Hill. Born Rebekah West in St. Louis, Harkness spent her childhood summers in Watch Hill. Read on for the true story behind "The Last Great American Dynasty's" lyrics. The Harknesses were married for a brief period—just seven years. 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.”. She first found out about Harkness through “the real estate agent who was walking us through the property,” according to her Entertainment Weekly interview. 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 was a beautiful, talented, divorcee originally from St. Louis, and her husband, William Hale Harkness, was heir to the Standard Oil fortune. 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. Everything you need to know about Rebekah West Harkness, the former owner of Taylor Swift's Watch Hill, Rhode Island, manse. 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 Rebekah Harkness died in 1982, ... “Fifty years is a long time/Holiday House sat quietly on that beach,” she adds. But equally unapologetic as Swift. 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. The 11,000-square-foot mansion boasts seven bedrooms and nine baths. Harkness was indeed a divorcée who married William Hale Harkness, whose family founded the Standard Oil company. These continued after her husband's death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D. She … Taylor Swift Sings About Her Rhode Island Home, See Taylor Swift’s Insane Real Estate Portfolio, This Countryside Home Gets a Contemporary Update. 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. Rebekah Harkness a tout perdu : sa dynastie, son patrimoine, ses enfants. 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 … 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. 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. She adds, “As soon as I found out about her, I wanted to know everything I could. 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.'. The couple was married just seven years before William passed away of a heart attack, leaving the Harkness fortune and Holiday House to Rebekah. 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. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. 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. The Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House, that featured eight kitchens and 21 baths. 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. Oh, I learned about her as soon as I was being walked through [her former Rhode Island] home. Neighbors were concerned about fans and paparazzi. 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. 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 … 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. The Harkness couple purchased a waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which the two nicknamed the "Holiday House." William Harkness bought Holiday House in 1948, a year after their marriage. They nicknamed the property as their "Holiday House." [11], La villa "Holiday House" di Harkness a Watch Hill, Rhode Island, è stata acquisita nel 2013 dalla cantante Taylor Swift. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. 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. In 2013, Taylor Swift bought Harkness’ former home — Holiday House — in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Holiday House was owned by Rebekah Harkness, an eccentric patron of the arts and founder of the Harkness Ballet. 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. And they'll go get a drink and skip it because it's the same every time," Swift joked to EW. 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. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. 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. An embittered tormentor showing up at the funeral of his fallen object of obsession. 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. The Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House, that featured eight kitchens and 21 baths. ", "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.". A misfit widow on the gleeful revenge on the town that cast her out. Since 2013, it has been owned by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. 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