Hambidge Center-Creative Arts, 105 Hambidge Ct, Rabun Gap, GA 30568
Rabun Studios, 31 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017
Eleanor Steele Reese (July 2, 1893 – June 20, 1977) was a singer, philanthropist and rancher. In 1934, Mary Crovatt Hambidge moved her small weaving operations to an 800-acre property including buildings and pastures on Bettys' Creek Road, Rabun Gap, GA, which she was later able to purchase with the help of Eleanor Steele Reese. Her enterprise became incorporated in 1944 as the Jay Hambidge Art Foundation. In 1937, Hambidge and Reese opened a small crafts store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Rabun Studios, that sold yardage from the Weavers of Rabun.
Eleanor Steele Reese was the wife of Emmet P. Reese, a cattleman, and the daughter of Charles Steele, a New York lawyer and banker, who had been a partner of J. P. Morgan.
She studied singing in the United States and abroad and for a number of years was a concert and opera performer, singing such soprano roles as the First Lady in Mozart's “The Magic Flute” and the Baroness de Gondremarck in Offenbach's “La Vie Parisienne.”
She abandoned singing at the beginning of World War II and moved to Idaho after her marriage to Emmet P. Reese (1907-1982) to help him operate a large ranch. After their marriage, he and Eleanor bought and operated a small working ranch in a narrow mountain valley near Shoup, Idaho, called Pine Creek Ranch, adjacent to the wilderness area. In the mid-1950s, they moved to a larger spread in nearby Salmon, which they operated until a few years before Eleanor's death in 1977. Emmet died in 1982.
She helped create the Steele‐Reese Foundation of Salmon, which aids charities in that state and in southern Appalachia as well as medical, religious and educational institutions, among them the College of Idaho.
Other of her philanthropic interests were the Steele Memorial Hospital in Salmon, the Salmon Library and an endowment in memory of her father to the Morgan Library in New York City.
She died at her Salmon, Idaho, home. She was 84 years old.
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