You’ve probably heard the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” a few times in your life.
Maybe it was about neighbors who always had to outdo one another’s Christmas light displays.
Maybe it was in response to the pressure felt when it seemed like everyone on the block was putting an addition on their house.
The term conjures up images of suburbia, where people display their prosperity through home improvements, cars, and even parties. It became a code term for materialism and flaunting your wealth, but also for a desperate need to fit in with the neighbors.
But the term didn’t start in the 1950s. And the Joneses? They were real people.
You probably know just how ornate and opulent homes from the 1800s could be, and our Joneses were all about it.
In 1853, Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones built a 24-room mansion for herself in Rhinebeck, NY, in the picturesque Hudson Valley. The Gothic mansion had towers and gables and arched windows, and looked like something right out of a fairy tale. Even its name, Wyndclyffe, had a magical air about it.
Wyndclyffe enjoyed a rich history, but then the Great Depression hit, and it fell into disrepair.
Today, it stands crumbling and melancholic in the forest, and it’s become a favorite spot for explorers. It looks like its fairy-tale charm persists even in ruin…
[H/T: House Beautiful]