WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 91 of 229

Bank, Wellesley, of Baltimore Physician and Wealthy Bride." She was 39, her husband nearly a decade older. The Boston Post, mistaking the groom's middle name for his last name, reported that the marriage was "the result of a brief and roman- tic courtship, in which it is said Dr. Hewson had another very wealthy suiter for a rival." Dr. Baltzell, who had practiced at Johns Hopkins, had been married once before, for just five weeks, in 1899. His wife died of typhoid after taking ill on their honeymoon. * * * A month before the Cheney-Baltzell marriage, an item popped up in The Wellesley Townsman: "It is rumored that members of the Cheney family are to start a $2 million residence on the site of the present Cheney house." Indeed, Alice and William had decided to replace her father's man- sion. Some accounts speculate that, haunted by family memories of the Marlborough Street fire, she wanted a fireproof, brick structure. Others suggest that she simply wanted something grander. While work on the mansion was underway, the couple toured Europe, where—in the tradition of other wealthy Americans—they set about buying artwork and antiquities to furnish their home. The gilded ceiling in one of the front rooms is rumored to have come from Spain, according to a slide lecture by the Reverend Paul Fohlin, a Carmelite priest who became interested in the family while living in and nearby three other Cheney homes in New Hampshire. The rumor further suggests that the gold originally had been exported from the New World by Christopher Columbus. The Baltzells ran afoul of U.S. Customs, according to several convo- luted stories in The New York Times and The Boston Globe. Apparently at issue was a marble shrine that Italian art dealers had represented as being centuries old. The couple had paid $100,000. A customs court judge in New York ruled that they owed $40,000 in duties after he was persuaded by testimony that it was not an antiquity but of recent origin (antiques were not subject to the tax). An art expert maintained that the object had been aged with coffee, among other agents. We may never know the truth, since at some point when the estate was not in use muscular 90 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 "Among the most beautiful places in the state." M O L L Y A N N E P H O T O G R A P H Y

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