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. In 1962 she turned her Rhode Island estate, Holiday House, into a summer dance camp for the entire Joffrey […] https://www.popsugar.com/home/taylor-swift-rhode-island-home-history-47648844 The Harknesses shared a HUGE Watch Hill, Rhode Island mansion, called the Holiday House, that featured eight kitchens and 21 baths. 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. 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. 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. “I wonder if Taylor Swift might like to hear the story of … But equally unapologetic as Swift. The two purchased a mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which they nicknamed Holiday House. The couple was married just seven years before William passed away of a heart attack, leaving the Harkness fortune and Holiday House to Rebekah. 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. 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. Not just going to performances, but sponsoring entire ballet companies, buying up real estate for them and sending them on world tours. These continued after her husband's death, with guests including Andy Warhol, J.D. And this isn’t a newfound interest on Swift’s part. The 11,000-square-foot mansion boasts seven bedrooms and nine baths. She reportedly paid in cash. Here, we … The Harknesses were married for a brief period—just seven years. So I started reading. 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. 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 … 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. ", "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.". She adds, “As soon as I found out about her, I wanted to know everything I could. 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. Salinger and Salvador Dali. 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. 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). Swift explains it briefly in a verse—Harkness once owned Holiday House, the singer’s current Watch Hill, Rhode Island, home. Read on for the true story behind "The Last Great American Dynasty's" lyrics. A misfit widow on the gleeful revenge on the town that cast her out. 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. Harkness was indeed a divorcée who married William Hale Harkness, whose family founded the Standard Oil company. Holiday House was owned by Rebekah Harkness, an eccentric patron of the arts and founder of the Harkness Ballet. “Free of women with madness, their men and bad habits/And then it … Neighbors were concerned about fans and paparazzi. 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. 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. 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 Harkness couple purchased a waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which the two nicknamed the "Holiday House." ", 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. The Holiday House was once owned by Rebekah Harkness. Iyengar and her pet raccoon. 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. They nicknamed the property as their "Holiday House." Iyengar.) Together, the pair resided in Rhode Island, in a home called "Holiday House" that Swift now owns. Oh, I learned about her as soon as I was being walked through [her former Rhode Island] home. 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