Welcome to Staatsburgh State Historic Site's blog! Learn more about the Gilded Age home of Ruth and Ogden Mills!

Friday, July 30, 2021

Little Purple Flowers

From Ruth Mills' dinner parties and Broadway murder trials to French battlefields and President Roosevelt's inaugurations, Marie Louise was fashionable everywhere.

Meet Marie Louise ... no, not her - the flower!
Courtesy of HVNY.

Named for the second wife of Napoleon, the fragrant double Parma "Marie Louise" violet was at the height of fashion for generations during the Gilded Age. From the late-1800s to the mid-1900s, violets were among the world's most popular flowers and the mecca for the little purple flowers was none other than Dutchess County! The stretch of the Hudson Valley from Red Hook down to Poughkeepsie was known as the Violet Belt in the United States, with Rhinebeck - just 10 minutes north of Staatsburgh - the Violet Capital of the World.