Sunday, January 3, 2016

Frenchtown's Crystal Chandelier

This chandelier hanging from the starry ceiling of the Saint Hippolytes church in Frenchtown, near Guys Mills, Pennsylvania‬ was donated around 1888 by Otthille and Lydie Bousson, two sisters from France who operated a shirt factory in New York City. The Bousson sisters amassed a fortune from producing high-quality shirts worn by the Astors, Vanderbilts, and even U.S. Grant. Eventually the two moved to the area, building a brick mansion between Frenchtown and Pettis, now aptly known as Bousson.

Life at the mansion and the revolving cast of mysterious characters who visited or lived with the Boussons became sources of intrigue on par with a Lemony Sniket story. Circumstances conspired against the sisters, and their mansion, once the site of many famous parties, was torn down in the late 1930's.

The full story is documented at the Society and is very much worth the read.