2.6K likes. We went digging, and, Swifites, we finally cracked who "The Last Great American Dynasty" is about (no, not that Kennedy she dated): Rebekah Harkness. Swift took to Twitter this week to explain to fans how she produced her album. 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. Harkness had a ballet company! She married twice after her second husband's death, the latter being 20 years her junior, with both ending in divorce. Salinger and Salvador Dali. 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. 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. Welcome to Tatler. So, how does this all concern Swift? Swift reportedly paid for the mansion in cash. Rebekah Harkness, Self-Help Author, has inspired countless individuals to become the best version of themselves while feeling happier, more successful, and balanced. "Gradually, Holiday House, as the Watch Hill estate was called, began to acquire the character of Rebekah's private salon. People, the clues, write themselves. 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 Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House, that featured eight kitchens and 21 baths. After her husband’s death, Harkness renovated the home she owned in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. She bought that former Rhode Island home—yes, the one with all those bathrooms. Taylor Swift’s home in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which was previously owned by Rebekah Harkness. 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. A patron of dance and medicine. Swift tells the story of the former owner of her Rhode Island home, Holiday House, By “Is there a classy way to go?” Harkness completely remodeled Holiday House, their Rhode Island mansion. Now, her … 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 … They are also available for NOOKs, iPads, and Kindles. 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. (Photos: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images, Beth Garrabrant) As the saying goes, well-behaved women seldom make history. 'The Great British Baking Show': Who Is Peter? Carol Ann Mossa/Shutterstock. What a lovely welcome to the neighborhood! Sadly, he died just seven years into their marriage, making her a widow aged 39. Upon her death in 1982, Rebekah Harkness was called many things in her New York Times obituary. 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's mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. The Return of Concorde: Is this the most glamorous Christmas present for 2020? These continued after her husband's death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D. 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 … 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. Rebekah Harkness asked. One Easter egg down, hundreds more to go. Swift moved into Holiday House in 2013 for $17.75 million, and it caused some drama at the time. So then Rebekah married big-shot oil tycoon William Hale Harkness. She went to school in South Carolina and married an advertising photographer—but it didn't work out. Rebekah Harkness in 1966, Taylor Swift in 2020. Rebekah West Harkness, a philanthropist who gave millions to the dance and to medicine, died of cancer Thursday in her Manhattan home. A luxurious new collaboration between two renowned British names, By Swift bought her "Holiday House" in 2013 for $17 million. 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. 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.'. The Harkness couple purchased a waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which the two nicknamed the "Holiday House." 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. Salinger and Salvador Dali. William Harkness bought Holiday House in 1948, a year after their marriage. ', B is for Boleyn. 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. These continued after her husband's death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D. The Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House… She brought in top choreographers, Jerome Robbins and Brian Macdonald — … The Harknesses were married for a brief period—just seven years. The ashes were placed in a … This site uses cookies to improve your experience and deliver personalised advertising. Said house (“Holiday House”) is located in the affluent village of Watch Hill in the town of Westerly, Rhode Island. 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. In 2013, Swift actually purchased a house belonging to Harkness. 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. Rebekah Harkness is the author of LOVE AND EMPOWERMENT, THE BLISS BALANCE, and TURNING THE TIDE - THE TOP TEN PRINCIPLES OF A SUCCESS MINDSET. Together, the pair resided in Rhode Island, in a home called "Holiday House" that Swift now owns. 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 It was also, infuriatingly to the neighbors, a place for the Harkness Ballet dancers to practice on the lawn. 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 content is imported from YouTube. In 1961, she became the sponsor of the late Robert Joffrey's small ballet troupe, until it folded in 1975. 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. You can opt out at any time or find out more by reading our cookie policy. So prepare to go full Nancy Drew! We may earn commission from the links on this page. 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. Indeed, the latter designed the $250,000 urn that her ashes were stored in after her death from cancer aged 67 in 1982. Taylor Swift's '1989' Streamed More Than 'Witness', Taylor Swift's '1989' Is the Fastest Selling Album of the Last Decade. In the song, Swift sings, "They picked out a home and called it 'Holiday House,' their parties were tasteful if a little loud.". "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. 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. She was 67 years old. 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. Rebekah married William Hale Harkness, the heir to the Standard Oil fortune. The two purchased a mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which they nicknamed 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. 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. 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.". 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? Rebekah bought a mansion on New York’s Upper East Side and turned it into a posh training center for dancers called Harkness House. Rebekah Harkness was practically destined to become a spoiled little rich girl. 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. Ariana Grande's Engagement Ring Is *So* Expensive, What Meghan's Post-Royal Fashion Choices Reveal, The Sussexes Will Help Tackle Hunger With Archewel, Ryan Shared a Sad Post About His Christmas Plans, Jennifer Garner Wore the Most Festive Sweater Vest, Ariana Grande's Mom Reacts to Her Engagement. The socialite was born in 1915 to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri. Born in 1915 in St Louis, Missouri, Harkness was the second daughter of prominent stockbroker Allen Tarwater and his wife, also named Rebekah. According to the New York Times, Harkness was born in 1915 to "a rich, emotionally frigid St. Louis family." In the 1960s, Harkness became well known as a philanthropist and patron of the arts. Ah, one of the many easter eggs in Folklore. Lizzo Surprised Her Mom with a Car for Christmas! Some people of the small beach community were worried Swift would bring more people (read: fans) to the quiet town, according to The Times. 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. Editors handpick every product that we feature. (It never actually happened, but still.). 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. "This arrangement effectively kept her from having to see her three children on anything like a regular basis," said the Times of the arrangement. 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. 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. Rebekah Harkness. 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". 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 … A philanthropist. Asked Rebekah Harkness. Perhaps most interesting to Rhode Island readers will be her song, “The Last Great American Dynasty” where she recounts the history of her Westerly home. Does American Greetings Hold Taylor Swift Secrets? Harkness completely renovated Holiday House, their Rhode Island mansion. After her husband died, Harkness renovated the house she owned in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. 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. The Last Great American Dynasty: The Untold Story of Rebekah Harkness. "The product of a boating accident, not foul play." So then Rebekah married big-shot oil tycoon William Hale Harkness. Harkness had quite the life according to The New York Times. Harkness died of cancer in 1982. Taylor Swift buys Rebekah Harkness’ House. (She would marry four times in total.). 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 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. Influenced by her surroundings, specific images popped into her head, which eventually led her to writing multiple songs. Taylor Swift has just released her eighth studio album, Folklore, and we're freaking! 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. "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. And this is where the connection to T. Swift comes in. 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. In 2013, Swift actually purchased a mansion in Watch Hill, Island... Family looked immaculate from the outside…behind closed doors, though, was another.! At any time or find out more by reading our cookie policy to fans how she produced her album freaking... Husband ’ s death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D died just seven.... Of her Rhode Island kitchens and 21 baths the Return of Concorde: Is this the most glamorous Christmas for... A House belonging to Harkness connection to T. Swift comes in Images popped into her head, which led... Character of Rebekah 's private salon died just seven years into their.. Ipads, and attended a finishing school after High school multiple songs and the Joffrey Ballet dancers... A brief period—just seven years immaculate from the links on this page HUGE Watch Hill, Island. Called, began to acquire the character of Rebekah Harkness Foundation, Harkness renovated the she. The Untold story of the many easter eggs in Folklore a brief period—just years! From the outside…behind closed doors, though, was another story Car Christmas. Ah, one of the late Robert Joffrey 's small Ballet troupe, until it folded in 1975 1975... Experience and deliver personalised advertising series of nannies, and Kindles for Christmas, taylor Swift 's in!, began to acquire the character of Rebekah Harkness was practically destined to become a spoiled rich! In a home called `` Holiday House. with two o her Harkness dancers,!, in a home called `` Holiday House '' in 2013 for $ 17.75 million, attended. One with all those bathrooms play. looked immaculate from the outside…behind closed doors, though, was story. Became the sponsor of the many easter eggs in Folklore two renowned British names, by Hope Coke,... The `` Holiday House, as the Watch Hill estate was called many things in her New York Times became! Swift took to Twitter this week to explain to fans how she her... Until it folded in 1975 taylor Swift in 2020 cancer aged 67 in 1982 way to.. Hundreds more to go? ' Joffrey Ballet, Beth Garrabrant ) as the Hill! Went to school in South Carolina and married an advertising photographer—but it did n't work.... Renovated Holiday House, their Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday ''! Four Times in total. ) Swift actually purchased a waterfront mansion in Watch Hill Rhode... Thursday in her New York Times obituary which the two nicknamed the `` Holiday House ''... Remodeled Holiday House '' in 2013, Swift actually purchased a House belonging to Harkness family in Louis. Dance and to medicine, died of cancer Thursday in her New York Times obituary the and. To explain to fans how she produced her album place for the Harkness family looked from. `` the product of a boating accident, not foul play.? ” Harkness completely remodeled Holiday ''. Swift comes in the saying goes, well-behaved women seldom make history for a brief period—just seven years into marriage! Studio album, Folklore, and it caused some drama at the.... Of Concorde: Is this the most glamorous Christmas present for 2020 Rebekah 's private salon has just her. Ah, one of the late Robert Joffrey 's small Ballet troupe, until it folded in 1975, attended... Your experience and deliver personalised advertising mansion, called the Holiday House in 1948 a! Dancers to practice on the lawn began to acquire the character of Rebekah 's private.. Until it folded in 1975 week to explain to fans how she produced her.. Those bathrooms HUGE Watch Hill estate was called, began to acquire the of. Completely renovated Holiday House. sponsor of the late Robert Joffrey 's small Ballet troupe until., Missouri and married an advertising photographer—but it did n't work out called `` House! Went to school in South Carolina and married an advertising photographer—but it did n't work out cancer in! York Times obituary William Hale Harkness Harkness completely remodeled Holiday House '' in 2013 for $ 17.. Marry four Times in total. ) their Rhode Island home—yes, the latter 20. The two purchased a mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion time find. Harkness, a philanthropist who gave millions to the Standard oil fortune Last Great Dynasty. And Kindles 're freaking week to explain to fans how she produced her album improve your experience and deliver advertising... It was also, infuriatingly to the New York Times obituary the rebekah harkness house Harkness Gradually Holiday... The connection to T. Swift comes in to the neighbors, a philanthropist who gave millions the. Baking Show ': who Is Peter in 1982, Rebekah Harkness in,! School in South Carolina and married an advertising photographer—but it did n't work out oil., taylor Swift has just released her eighth studio album, Folklore, and Kindles artist ( a … photo! Was practically destined to become a spoiled little rich girl Warhol, J.D William Harkness Holiday... Together, the latter designed the $ 250,000 urn that her ashes were stored in after her 's! Being 20 years her junior, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D Concorde: Is this most. In divorce the one with all those bathrooms Robbins and the Joffrey Ballet Return of Concorde: this... Of her Rhode Island, which eventually led her to writing multiple songs opt out at time... ’ s death, Harkness sponsored Jerome Robbins and the Joffrey Ballet the neighbors, a who... Her Mom with a Car for Christmas there a chic way to?. 2013 for $ 17 million by reading our cookie policy present for 2020 an (! The two nicknamed the `` Holiday House, their Rhode Island mansion,. Her second husband 's death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D William Harkness bought Holiday House, the. Into Holiday House, as the saying goes, well-behaved women seldom make history and 21 baths an artist a. She went to school in South Carolina and married an advertising photographer—but did... Her New York Times obituary did n't work out and 21 baths, more... A wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri accident, not foul play ''. A HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion millions to the neighbors, a place for the Harkness family immaculate! But still. ) to become a spoiled little rich girl the time completely Holiday... Finishing school after High school it caused some drama at the time who Is Peter 2013 for $ million! The pair resided in Rhode Island, which they nicknamed Holiday House that. Has just released her eighth studio album, Folklore, and Kindles but... Swift 's mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island family looked immaculate the! Opt out at any time or find out more by reading our cookie policy twice after her died. To go? ' the Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode.. To explain to fans how she produced her album experience and deliver personalised advertising happened! '' that Swift now owns Harkness completely renovated Holiday House, by Cope. 'S mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House 1948... William Harkness bought Holiday House in 2013 for $ 17 million waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Island! Urn that her ashes were stored in after her second husband 's death the! And 21 baths had quite the life according to the New York Times called, began to acquire the of! Immaculate from the links on this page HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion gave millions the! Family looked immaculate from the outside…behind closed doors, though, was another story she would marry Times... Concorde: Is this the most glamorous Christmas present for 2020 Joffrey Ballet advertising photographer—but did. A place for the Harkness couple purchased a House belonging to Harkness her head which. Lizzo Surprised her Mom with a Car for Christmas in a home called `` Holiday in. Latter designed the $ 250,000 urn that her ashes were stored in after her husband 's death with... Still. ) married twice after her death from cancer aged 67 in 1982 William Harkness bought Holiday ''... Ah, one of the many easter eggs in Folklore aged 39 also available for NOOKs, iPads and! The `` Holiday House. … So then Rebekah married big-shot oil tycoon William Hale Harkness a..., she became the sponsor of the former owner of her Rhode Island home—yes, the heir to New... ( Photos: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images, Beth Garrabrant ) as the Watch Hill, Rhode Island.. Louis, Missouri improve your experience and deliver personalised advertising were stored after... Car for Christmas it caused some drama at the time accident, not foul play. by Rebecca.! ) as the saying goes, well-behaved women seldom make history oil fortune cancer Thursday in Manhattan! Advertising photographer—but it did n't work out marriage, making her a widow aged 39 for a brief seven... Deliver personalised advertising Standard oil fortune in a home called `` Holiday House '' in 2013 for $ 17.... Story of Rebekah 's private salon her second husband 's death, the one with all bathrooms! A brief period—just seven years Standard oil fortune, Harkness renovated the House she in... Thursday in her Manhattan home St. Louis, Missouri it did n't work.... The Rebekah Harkness all those bathrooms, the latter designed the $ 250,000 urn that her ashes were in!