THE NEWPORT POSTCARD GALLERY
APC 43. Rosecliff Residence of Herman Oelrich Bellevue Avenue. Owned by The Preservation Society and open to the public today. Built by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899; Sanford White was the architect; copying The Grand Trianon at Versailles. Built at a cost of $2,500,000.00. The home was given to The Preservation Society in 1971 by the last private owners, Mr. and Mrs. J. Edgar Monroe. The home has been used in the films High Society, The Great Gatsby, True Lies and Amistad. "The least known was Mrs. Oelrichs of "Rosecliff." Daughter of the gaudy Irish Comstock Loder . . . Theresa, or Tessie as she was called, had been a handsome raven-haired belle in her younger days and she refused to allow any of her later misfortunes to interfere with her career as a dowager dynamo. Troubled by increased deafness, she simply substituted, for her conversation of other people, a steady stream of her own small talk. Coupled with Mrs. Oelrichs' deafness went a remarkable tendency to put on weight. When all her masseurs and masseuses failed, she substituted such a sever corset that it required the services of a strong male servant to fit. She ran "Rosecliff" like a first sergeant. . . she had no personal maid and up at eight each morning-after doing her own hair-she made a personal tour of inspection of every room in her cottage. Then in her electric runabout she would tour her garage and stables. Every bed in "Rosecliff" was made up fresh every day and when she spent a night in a hotel she took her own bedding. At "Rosecliff" if a marble floor was not scrubbed to her satisfaction she would take soap and mop and scrub it herself. 'When I die,' she used to say, 'bury me with a cake of Sapolio in one hand and a scrubbing-brush in the other. These are my symbols.'" From "The Last Resort" by Cleveland Amory.
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The Drawing Room is located at 152-154 Spring Street, Newport, Rhode Island 02840.We are open daily from 11 am to 5 pm and by appointment. If you have a question about an item listed in this document please call us at 1-401-841-5060 (401) 261-3980. All images copyright by F. Santi, 2004
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