THE NEWPORT POSTCARD GALLERY
APC 39. Beechwood. Residence of John Jacob Astor. Privately owned but open to the public as a house museum. "Many women will rise up to fill my place," said Mrs. Astor, "but I hope my influence will be felt in one thing, and that is, in discountenancing the undignified methods employed by certain women to attract a following." 'There was no doubt, at least as far as Newport was a concerned, whom Mrs. Astor meant. She meant the three successors to her throne, Newport's Great Triumvirate, Mrs. Hermann Oelrichs, Mrs. O.P.H. Belmont and Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish. These three had actively challenged the "Mystic Rose" long before her death in 1908; by the turn of the century they had all but seized the scepter. In her last years Mrs. Astor's mind failed. Her final summers at "Beechwood" were spent in solitary splendor. "Still erect," says Lloyd Morris, "still bravely gowned and jeweled, she stood quite alone, greeting imaginary guests long dead, exchanging pleasantries with ghosts of the utmost social distinction." * From "The Last Resort" by Cleveland Amory.
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