Today's Women's History Month feature is Marjorie Merriweather Post. Marjorie Post was the founder of General Foods Corporation and daughter of the C.W. Post (one article from 1988 describes her as the "Grape-Nuts heiress!). Post assumed control of the Postum Cereal Company after her father's death in 1914; she successfully led the corporation for the next eight years. She was among the first to recognize the prospects of adding a frozen food line to the company. This led to the acquisition of the Birdseye company.
In 1920, Post purchased a camp on Upper St. Regis Lake that was then known as Lothrop Camp. Post renamed the property Camp Hutridge at this time, after her second husband, E.F. Hutton. She immediately started extensive renovations and expansions to the camp, including on the Main Lodge and Boathouse. Work continued on the camp throughout the 1920s under the direction of Benjamin Muncil.
Post spoke of Topridge as a "rustic retreat;" it consisted of 68 buildings, including a fully staffed main lodge and private guest cabins, each staffed with its own butler. It was one of the largest of the Adirondack great camps and possibly the most elaborately furnished.
As originally built, the property could only be reached by water; guests arrived by float-plane or Post's yacht at a private dock, and then via funicular to the main building at the top of the ridge. A driveway was added in later years. Three times a week, guests would gather in the 80 by 100-foot living room where full-length movies could be screened; an adjoining dining room seated thirty guests. Many of the original furnishings of the room, which included an extensive collection of Native American artifacts, are now in the Smithsonian Institution.
Post was the wealthiest woman in the US, and upon her death, willed the Camp Topridge property to New York State. All but 105 acres of the estate were added to the Adirondack Forest Preserve, and the remaining acres are currently privately owned. The camp is on the National Register of Historic Places.
To learn more about Post's life, and see images of the opulent Camp Topridge, visit our wiki.