5. Tragic Ties to the Titanic

Reception Room at Lynnewood Hall
The Reception Room

Many wealthy 19th-century families, the Wideners were touched by the tragedy of the Titanic. The family of Peter’s eldest son, George, booked tickets on the Titanic for their return trip from Paris. George and his wife Eleanor owned the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton, so they were traveling to Europe to find a new chef for the hotel. They also needed to pick up a wedding trousseau for their daughter Josephine and some rare books for their son Harry. Harry, George’s valet Edwin Keeping, and Eleanor’s ladies maid Amalia Geigerhey went along for the trip. When the Titanic sank, George, Harry, and Edwin sadly lost their lives. Eleanor and Amalia made it safely to New York. This tragedy has long been one of the things that Lynnewood is most known for, but there is much more to the story of the Wideners and their opulent home.