Social Etiquette Sunday!
Visitors to Staatsburgh will learn it was the site of elaborate house parties thrown by society hostess Ruth Mills. Such events were important affairs for the high-society of the Gilded Age. House parties, often held at the country homes of elites (such as Staatsburgh), could last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The duration and entertainment determined the wardrobe for guests; however an outfit for mornings, afternoon activities, and formal evening dinners was a basic starting point. In terms of activities, it was best for hostesses not to ‘over-entertain’ – allowing free time in the day to guests for their own amusement.
Attendees would typically arrive by train from the city. A good hostess paid for transportation of guests and baggage from the station to the estate. Servants were sent to greet couples and bachelors, while the host and hostess would escort any unmarried women to the estate. As with parties today, congeniality among guests was expected (as well as kindness towards servants). Transportation back to the station was again arranged by the hostess. For visits longer than a weekend, guests should write the hostess a short letter –in fact, a gift was not unheard of either. #SocialEtiquetteSunday