The Du Ponts: Houses and Gardens in the Brandywine
A new book by Maggie Lidz shows not only the fabulous homes the family built, but also how they lived. These excerpts are but a hint.
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Chevannes, ca. 1929
Residence of Bessie G. du Pont
CHEVANNES was born of a messy emotional triangle. In 1910 Bessie G. du Pont, the first wife of Alfred I. du Pont, was left homeless when Alfred razed Swamp Hall, the house where she had been living. A rambling Victorian frame house near the DuPont Company mills, Swamp Hall was Alfred’s childhood home, and he and Bessie lived there during their 19-year marriage. After their divorce in 1906, Bessie stayed on with her four children. In 1910 she was abruptly informed that the house would be torn down within a week and so moved to downtown Wilmington, where she rented a much smaller dwelling.
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