Posts Tagged With: Mrs. Richard Hudnut
There was 166 New York City youngers arriving Tuesday night at Grand Central Station after spending 25 days as guests of the Police Athletic League at Fox Lair, the Police Athletic League Camp. Part of the inner city Fresh Air Camp which gets kids from low income families time to spend outside of the city to enjoy time hunting, fishing, and other holesome activities during summer months. The camp surroundied by the Adirondack State Park consists of a 1200 acre estate given to the Police Athletic League for Fresh Air Camps by Mrs. Winifred Hudnut, widow of Richard Hudnut. The entire expense of these vacations including transportation is borne by Police Athletic League and a generous donation by Mrs. Hudnut.
Richard Hudnut perfume mogul and a former father-in-law to Rudolph Valentino left his entire estate to his wife with the exception of $4000 bequest according to the terms of his will. Mr. Hudnut claimed Foxlair Camp as his legal residence. The will was filed by the National City Bank, New York with Mrs. Hudnut and their stepdaughter Natacha Rambova as executors. The petition gives value of the real estate as $10,000 and personal property $50,000, but it is understood the estate is actually many times over these figures. The will first provides Woodlawn Cemetery Inc of Bronx County shall be given the Hudnut burial lot and $4000. Mr. Hudnut’s first wife is buried there and the will provides that plots shall be provided for other relatives. The remainder of the estate is given to his present wife. The will provided in the event she died before him for $110,000 in specific bequests to nephews, grandnephews and friends leaving the residue of the estate to Miss Rambova. The will states that “for reasons I deem sufficient I have omitted from the provisions of this will” Frank Hudnut (Half-brother), Maude Louis Chaplin (Half-sister), Eugene Beals (Son of the first marriage). Mr. Hudnut had previously given large considerable amounts of money to Mrs Beals the will said.
Richard Hudnut, entrepreneur and New York City businessman, often visited the Adirondacks with his family. In 1890, he discovered the Oregon valley in the Town of Johnsburg in Warren County, and by the turn of the century had purchased 1,200 acres of land there. Although it took him 10 years to acquire the estate it was the ultimate summer home. Foxlair was located near North Creek, NY in the Adirondack’s. The main house was 270 foot long and was three stories high with a huge double staircase and a veranda across the front. Foxlair was fashioned in a French Chateau style that was favored by Richard Hudnut and was furnished with European furniture. One of Richard Hudnuts trusted employees Thomas Thornloe was superintendent for the estate as well as over 40 servants on staff, a 9-hole golf course along the valley and a host of barns for carriages and animals. The estate also had a Japanese Teahouse and a nature house built near the river. There was also a large aviary to grace the porch. Every summer during the afternoons, dancing pigeons put on a show for the famous guests who came from around the world to enjoy the great outdoors and the legendary Hudnut hospitality. In 1922, his adopted daughter Natacha Rambova went to Foxlair in seclusion during her future husband’s ongoing legal battle over his movie contract with Famous Players-Lasky.
This was a family residence until 1938. After Richard Hudnuts death the estate was endowed to the Police Athletic League of NYC as a summer camp for boys. In 1970’s, Foxlair was burned to the ground IAW the Adirondack Park Agencies Master Land Use and Development Plan which required all state land to be kept in a natural state. There are still remnants of the stone foundation to be found and overgrown stone stairways.
Natacha Rambova, ex-wife of Rudolph Valentino, returned from the Riviera where she visited her mother Mrs. Richard Hudnut. Miss Rambova said a marked change in women’s fashions was evident in Paris and would appear here this year. The American woman, she declared, is freeing herself from the Parisian style reign and will now demand gowns designed for herself. She said, the Paris rule was overthrown because manufacturers copied dresses in great numbers, ruining individuality.