Grosse Pointe, 1912, 1913 and. Item #98-7268
Book: Illustr, 8 x 5.5, pict tan covers with red lettering, unpag, covers soiled, spine darkened, corners bumped, front inner hinge cracked and cover a bit loose, text block cracked, light soiling to contents else good. A total of 108 pages have writing on them which is approx 1/3 of the book. The entries, while not filling up the book, give an idea of the lifestyle of a wealthy young woman of the time period, trips with her family, social activities with her fellow schoolmates which included Eleanor Clay, Isabelle and Winifred Dodge, Margaret Begg, Frances Borgman, Suzanne Copland, Marion Douglas, Elizabeth Dwyer, Helen Restrick, Elizabeth Russel, Grace Scott, Marjorie Stephens (her future sister-in-law), Elizabeth Wilkins, among others. Elizabeth (as she was known) Whitehead’s father was James T. Whitehead, president of Whitehead & Kales, a structural steel manufacturing firm. The other young ladies’ families were involved in automotive (Dodge Bros.), real estate (Begg, Borgman), retail (Hudson’s-Eleanor Clay was J.L. Hudson’s niece; Newcomb-Endicott), lumber (Restrick, Stephens), manufacturing (Copland, Dwyer, Russel), attorney (Douglas), Chemist (Wilkins). Liggett School is not mentioned by name but the young ladies listed in the book all went there during those years, and Miss Westlake (the mistress of the junior school) is mentioned. Plus, there is a mention of winning a walking contest which was created by Miss Ella Liggett, the headmistress. Elizabeth travelled with her parents to New York, Atlanta, Buffalo, Niagara Falls (they travelled to Niagara Falls/Buffalo on the steamer City of Cleveland and returned on the City of Detroit III) in 1912. During the Niagara Falls portion of the trip, Elizabeth’s father was arrested for speeding and had to wait several hours for a judge to show up and be fined $10. During that same year she went to Marion Douglas’ party in Grosse Pointe and later spent that night at Eleanor Clay’s house. A couple months later she was on the family yacht of Marjorie Stephens when hydroplanes circled the yacht; in between times a group of eight girls had a picnic on Grosse Ile because they won the walking contest. In 1913, there was a house party on Grosse Ile at the house of her classmate Connie Blackwell. In 1914, the Athletic League Board rented a house for the winter in Farmington and there was a house party there in late January. This was the last entry. In 1920, Elizabeth married H. (Harry) Lynn Pierson, Jr., a WWI veteran with manufacturing interests. A few years after her marriage, Elizabeth contracted polio. Her father brought her to Warm Springs for treatment, and bought a cottage for her in 1927 from its previous owner, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The cottage, known as Hart Cottage, became Pierson Cottage from then on. James T. Whitehead became a trustee (and generous donor) of the newly formed foundation called the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation which changed the status of the facility from spa to a health resort. Elizabeth invited her good friend Eleanor Clay Ford and her husband Edsel to visit her; during this visit they donated $25,000 to enclose the pools. Elizabeth was present at many of the special events held at Warm Springs when FDR was present and took photos along with Mary Veeder, a physical therapist, providing an irreplaceable record of those days. President Roosevelt called on her during his next-to-last visit to Warm Springs in 1944. He died there a few months later in April 1945.