Partner Elizabeth Wade White, buried together

Queer Places:
Middlebury Cemetery, Middlebury, Connecticut 06762, Stati Uniti

In 1939 at the New York City pier to say bon voyage to Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland visiting from England were Janet Machen, who had elected to stay in New York where she had a job, and Evelyn Virginia Holahan (August 28, 1905 - May 27, 1985), with whom Machen was sharing an apartment in Greenwich Village.

Evelyn V. Holahan was born in Rochester, N.Y.. She was a professional woman working for the Benton & Bowles advenizing agency in Manhattan. Her older sister, Elizabeth, became a distinguished interior decorator, responsible for several historical restorations in New York State; Annie, the younger sister, was an aspiring actress in the 1930s, and by later account by Evelyn to me, never went beyond the bohemian Greenwich Village life. Evelyn went to Chaldon, Dorset to "rescue" her younger sister who had been involved with Llewellyn Powys, the writer, in Greenwich Village and had followed him to Chaldon where he had settled near his brother.

As Elizabeth Wade White (June 8, 1906 – December 11, 1994) told me years later, Evelyn was at the pier in New York in May 1939, and it was there that the two met. With full knowledge of Elizabeth's relationship with Valentine, Evelyn chose to share an apartment with her in the city and the two became lovers. From then the two women shared their lives together until Evelyn's death. Evelyn left her professional activities after the war and the two set up house in the farmhouse which had been owned by Elizabeth's grandmother in Middlebury, Conn., at the foot of Breakneck Hill where the parents lived until their deaths. (Mary in 1949 and Will in 1952. The house was demolished after sale in the 1950s.)

Holahan and White are buried together in Middlebury.

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  1. Elizabeth Wade White Papers, Catalog and Finding Aid, Introduction