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 Giraud Foster

Giraud Foster

New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 22 Sep 1945 (aged 94)
Lenox, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Lenox, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Foster Lot
Memorial ID 46739444 · View Source
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The passing of Giraud Foster, in his 95th year at 'Bellefontaine', marked the end of a fabulous era in the Berkshires. Mr. Foster was one of the last of a group of wealthy resorters who brought world-wide fame and distinction to Lenox. His departure marked the end of an era of luxurious living, unhurried and superbly comfortable. Mr. Foster, who in his later years had been called the "grand old man of Lenox", represented to a marked degree the aristocracy, the wealth, the culture and refinement, which for a century had been the glory of the Berkshire resort capital. 'Bellefontaine', Mr. Foster's summer home, and later his legal residence, was a superb replica of a French palace in the time of Louis XV. Designed by accomplished architects Carrere and Hastings; it was the most ornate and luxurious of the resort's summer cottages, with interiors and furnishings fabricated in Paris, then brought to Lenox and set in place by expert French cabinet workers. Here Mr. Foster lived the life of a gentleman who knew and appreciated the finer things
of life. Giraud Foster was skilled in finance; a world traveler in his younger years he was well informed in art, architecture and literature ~ his library contained over five thousand books. Mr. Foster was the champion skipper of the Lake Mahkeenac Boat Club, president of the local Lenox Club, and of the Lenox Golf Club
where he played at the 18 hole course there most mornings and afternoons, and an officer of the Lenox Library. In the old horseshow days he often won the coveted blue ribbon for the best coach-and-four amid sharp competition from William D. and John Sloane, Capt. John Sanford Barnes, Charles Lanier and Frank K. Sturgis. He was also president of the Lenox Kennel Club, and for a while the September dog shows were held on his estate. Life at 'Bellefontaine' was an ordered and immaculately manicured progress from day to day; one great event always remained. Its anticipation occupied the 364 days which intervened between its one celebration and the next; the time devoted to its planning was that time dedicated by Giraud Foster for his next year's birthday celebration. For more than forty years Mr. Foster's birthday dinners, on November 8th, were society events of the first magnitude. Sometimes he had sixty guests; the entire house being transformed into a veritable garden of chrysanthemums, American Beauty roses, orchids, carnations, and tall palms. On the table were vases of bronze-colored chrysanthemums, his favorite flower. There was always lively music, with an entertainer. Sometimes there were so many guests they overflowed onto the adjoining breakfast room. The dinner service was of gold, and the courses succeeded each other as do the seasons ~ presented, served, and removed by waiters in the liveried perfection reserved for royalty. With floral decorations of extraordinary beauty all over the house, with the illuminated fountains playing, 'Bellefontaine', on the nights of Mr. Foster's birthday, was a dazzling scene. Always wearing a tuxedo for dinner; surrounded by a wealth of flowers. He was in the breakfast room before 9 a.m. He was especially fond of bridge and played a conservative, but generally winning hand. Mr. Foster and his partner, Mrs. Henry White ( Emily Vanderbilt Sloane White ), often won the first prize at the smart bridge-luncheon parties. He walked from one to three miles a day with Edwin Jenkins, Superintendent of 'Bellefontaine' since its inception half a century earlier. Friendly, kindly and democratic, Mr. Foster was a religious man. On Sunday morning he could always be found in his pew at Trinity Episcopal Church, of which he was senior warden. Many charities and philanthropies received his support, unknown to the public. Giraud Foster, and 'Bellefontaine', were long remembered in Lenox for the grand old style of years agone.

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  • Created by: R. Bruce
  • Added: 16 Jan 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 46739444
  • R. Bruce
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Giraud Foster (8 Nov 1850–22 Sep 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 46739444, citing Church On the Hill Cemetery, Lenox, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by R. Bruce (contributor 46568831) .