29 Sutton Place South, New York, New York, New York
Grace Allen Bangs Bernheim (August 8, 1893 - April, 1974) was a former newspaper reporter from a prominent San Francisco family.
Her second marriage in 1939 was unconventional, not only because she married Leonard Bernheim, a wealthy Jew in the garment trade, but also because the introduction of Grace’s woman lover, Polly Dick, made it into a permanent ménage à trois. The Bernheims built a bay-front house, Keylana Farm, for which Polly created a beautiful garden.
Grace Bernheim’s snobbism ran counter to the Grove’s democratic spirit and made her the loser in her social rivalry with Helen Ely. Although Grace threw “lovely parties,” according to Willy Warren, Helen Ely’s were “open to anybody, anytime, all the time. When Grace would give a party, she was very sure that she invited just the right people. And it wasn’t the fun that the Elys’ was.”
Stephan Cole named Grace Bernheim as the person who was most instrumental in initially calling in the police in Cherry Grove: She thought she was doing the public a great service by building a house for the police, that little thing down near the Community House and they were supposed to put their prisoners in there, and have a place to keep warm or cool, and instead it started the raids. Bernheim, stunned by the results of the heightened police presence, according to Stephan Cole, “quickly sold her house [Keylana Farms] to Larry and Rob for $18,000 and that’s why she left. . . . I don’t think [people] really knew that Gracie was the cause of it all.”
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Newton, Esther. Cherry Grove, Fire Island . Duke University Press. Edizione del Kindle.