Tiffany & Co. Tour de Force at Maymont

February 27, 2017

When Maymont Mansion guests regain equilibrium after their first glimpse of Mrs. Dooley’s Swan Bed, their attention is drawn to another equally fantastic piece—the extraordinary dressing table and chair made by Tiffany & Co., America’s premier designer and retailer of luxury items. It’s fashioned from elaborately chased sterling silver and four entire narwhal tusks. Without…

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Votes for Women, 1916 to 2016

November 9, 2016

Whether you’re celebrating or mourning the results of the Presidential Election, let’s be glad that all US citizens had an equal opportunity to vote this week. It hasn’t always been that way. The national election of 1916, just 100 years ago, would prove to be the last time the right to vote for a president was denied…

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The Nuptials of James Dooley and Sallie May – September 11, 1869

September 8, 2016
Sallie May Dooley, image courtesy of The Valentine

No documentation has yet come to light to tell us exactly where and when the courtship of James Dooley and Sallie May blossomed. Could they have met at one of the many mineral spring resorts in the mountains of Virginia (and what became West Virginia) where polite society gathered in the summer? White Sulphur Springs perhaps? Or…

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What Happened in 1926?

June 23, 2016

As we celebrate the 90th anniversary of Maymont’s public opening this year, we decided to see what else was happening 90 years ago in 1926.Here are a few fun highlights: The first trans-Atlantic telephone call – between London and New York – was made. “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A. A. Milne was published. Restoration of Colonial Williamsburg…

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Windows of Opportunity at Maymont Mansion

April 8, 2016

The windows of Maymont Mansion look out onto a breathtaking landscape and into a world of Gilded Age treasures, but how often does anyone consider the windows themselves? Their importance was recognized in FY15 with a $145,000 grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and matching funds from the Richard S. Reynolds…

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The Dooleys’ Vision for Maymont

March 16, 2016

On March 16, 1926, Maymont opened to an expectant public, about six months after Mrs. Dooley’s death.  Before that day, visiting the Dooleys’ home had been by invitation only, but thanks to their vision and generosity, Maymont became a museum and park which millions of people have enjoyed for the past ninety years. When the…

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Happy Birthday Major Dooley!

January 15, 2016

Born in Richmond, Virginia, January 17, 1841 This Sunday will mark the 175th birthday of James Henry Dooley who gave us his estate, Maymont. We don’t have any record of a birthday party for him, but if his friends were planning a celebration, what gifts might they have considered to bring special delight to the birthday…

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Santa, Sparkles & Scraps: A Guide to Maymont’s Christmas Ornaments

November 23, 2015

Every room in Maymont Mansion is decked out for Christmas 1893, the first holiday Major and Mrs. Dooley celebrated in their new home. And of course, the Christmas tree in the Blue Drawing Room represents one of the most universally beloved traditions of the season. Maymont’s tree reaches to the ceiling – 12 feet high…

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A Maymont Perspective on World War I

November 11, 2015

One hundred years ago the Great War, as it is known by the British, was ravaging Europe. Belgium had been overrun, Northern France was occupied by the German army, and Paris was threatened.  Though safe in Richmond, certainly James and Sallie Dooley had been shocked like other Americans when Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his…

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