1927: Andrew Mellon bought “Three Ponds”—Victor’s 100-acre Long Island estate with a 32-room mansion and sunken gardens—as a Christmas gift for his daughter.
1928: Marjorie was granted the French Legion of Honor for her relief services during World War I. She was the only woman, and only American, to receive the honor.
1929: Charleston’s Society for the Preservation of Spirituals performed at the Thursday Evening Club in New York City as guest of Marjorie Morawetz, who had seen the group in Boston a year prior.
On April 5, 1930, the Morawetzes bought Fenwick Hall from H. P. Whilden. The News & Courier reported: “Mr. and Mrs. Morawetz are very much interested in gardening, and it is probable that Fenwick Hall, always a place of great interest, will be surrounded by beautiful gardens.”
1931: Victor, a friend and financial backer of perfumer Prince Matchabelli, suggested Charleston as an ideal location for growing shrubs, flowers, and other plants for his essential oils.
On April 17, 1932, Marjorie, along with Mrs. Francis Pelzer, Mrs. Washington A. Roebling, Mrs. Julius Heyward, and Miss Eugenia A. Frost, hosted a “card tournament” to raise funds for saving the Manigault House (350 Meeting Street) through the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings.
1932: After spending the summer abroad, Victor came to town on September 27 to inspect his cactus garden. They wouldn’t open Fenwick Hall for the season until February.
Victor and Marjorie were often preseason guests at Villa Margherita on High Battery.
1934: Charleston author Josephine Pinckney was a close friend. On July 31, after her trip to Mexico, she sailed back from New York with the Morawetzes.
The couple brought comedian Milton Berle to Josephine Pinckney’s cocktail party one Easter.
In February 1934, Marjorie and the Ladies Aid Society of St. Michael’s arranged for a concert by French harpist Marcel Grandjany at the Academy of Music to benefit the Crafts School Parent-Teacher Association.
In April 1935, famed composer and conductor Walter Damrosch was a guest at Fenwick Hall, where he heard the Charleston Society for the Preservation of Spirituals perform. He was quoted in The News & Courier, saying: “Music, you know, is made up of tones and half tones. Now this group comes along with what might be called ‘Charles-tones.’ Really that’s a bad pun, but I was simply delighted. It was a perfect evening...reflects the spirit of the cultural history of the old South. I want to give all praise to this group of persons who have such a wonderful work. It is something that should be perpetuated.”
On May 5, 1936, the Morawetzes hosted Georg de Gripenberg, the Finnish ambassador to the Court of St. James, and his wife, Baroness de Gripenberg, at Fenwick Hall and gave a luncheon for 40, including Elizabeth Arden (pictured), who was staying in Summerville.
Georg de Gripenberg, the Finnish ambassador to the Court of St. James
Baroness de Gripenberg
1936: Victor donated the Washington Allston paintings Moses and the Serpent (pictured) and David Playing Before Saul to Carolina Art Association and Gibbes Art Gallery. He also presented a self-portrait of James DeVeaux, “a native artist,” and a miniature of Mrs. Samuel Wilson (née Paul) by Thomas S. Officer.
In February 1936, Victor gave 17 miniature paintings to the Carolina Art Association and Gibbes Art Gallery.
In March 1937, the Morawetzes gifted 500 shares of preferred stock of U.S. Steel ($75,000) to Roper Hospital to build a new wing for the treatment of African-American patients with contagious diseases. At that time there was a facility for white but not for black patients.
In April, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited Charleston. She stayed at Villa Margherita and lunched with the Morawetzes at Fenwick Hall.
In June, Marjorie joined the Committee for the Dock Street Theatre, which included Josephine Pinckney, Dubose Heyward, and Robert N.S. Whitelaw, to discuss its renovations and opening it as a theater under the auspices of the Carolina Art Association.
1938: The couple hosted English actor George Arliss and his wife at Fenwick Hall and entertained them at the Dock Street Theatre with a buffet in the courtyard and a performance by the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals.
Victor died on May 18, 1938. His funeral was held at Fenwick Hall and “attended by several score of Charlestonians who had come to regard him as one of themselves.”
Rev. Albert R. Stuart, rector of St. Michael’s, presided over the service, saying that Victor had made Fenwick Hall into one of the finest estates of the Lowcountry and “entertained in charming manner both for local people and visitors, among whom were several famous men and women.”
In keeping with Victor’s wishes, Marjorie leased a portion of their Seabrook Island property to the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina as a recreation spot for boys for one cent a year.
In August 1939, Charlestonian Charlotte Ball and Marjorie set sail on the Italian liner Conte di Savoia for Cannes, France, then on to La Preste in the Pyrennes for an indefinite stay.
In February, 1940, Marjorie, who served on the Friends of France board of directors, arranged for its president, Anne Morgan, to meet with South Carolina First Lady Mrs. Burnet Maybank in Columbia and then for them to come to Charleston. (Governor Burnet Maybank pictured)
On July 5, 1942, Marjorie stayed briefly at the Fort Sumter Hotel and was given a dinner by Mrs. Joseph I. Waring and Josephine Pinckney.
1943: Claude W. and Helena I. Blanchard in front of the circa-1750 carriage house at Fenwick Hall. On October 22, Marjorie sold Fenwick Hall and 1,322 acres to Claude Blanchard for $45,000. The family resided there until 1979.
1944: Marjorie purchased 11-13 East Battery from Simons V. H. Waring (her agent for Seabrook) for $1. She would sell it two years later for $23,000.
She hosted a dinner at Pierre in NYC to raise money for the Red Cross War Fund.
In October 1946, Marjorie bought the Simmons-Edwards House (also known as the “Pineapple Gates House”) at 14 Legare Street as a winter home. She sold it three months later to Dr. L. S. Fuller of Columbia.
In January 1947, she put in the highest bid ($30,025) to purchase the circa-1770 Isaac Motte House at 30 Meeting, which became her winter home.
On January 3, 1957, Marjorie died at age 81 in Manhattan. Amongst many donations to the community, The News & Courier reported that she left her collection of 18th- and 19th-century Chinese porcelain to The Charleston Museum.