Subject: Portrait of Anita Thorne
The garden is Rose Red.
The woman in the picture is a the mother of a friend of mine. He is 81. Anita Thorne Corse Smith, the woman in the picture, lived to be almost 100, and died about five years ago. She was the daughter of a millionaire, a finance mogul (is that an old term or what!) and lived at Thornewood, on American Lake near Tacoma, WA, for much of her life.
Thornewood, often referred to as Thornewood Castle, is the house in Stephen King's "Rose Red," the ABC miniseries currently being shown.
Although Thornewood competed to become the location for the series, there are many interesting similarities between the fictional Rose Red family and the Thornes. To see red roses in Anita's picture really amazes me. And, Anita sold the estate in 1950, a year mentioned in Rose Red as when the house was closed up. The current owners of Thornewood operate a B&B and offer Sunday Tea as well. There is a website, thornewoodcastle.com.
There is not a history of ghosts or "the unexplained" at the house. However, Anita's first husband, attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head while in a closet at the house. He survived, but lost an eye. The current owner promotes the story that Anita's mother, Ann, haunts the house. Thorne says that's hogwash! He also is adamant that the house is merely a mansion and NOT a castle!
Anita's second husband was General David Stone. While a Captain in the Army, he oversaw the construction of Fort Lewis, Washington. This is when he met Anita. David went on to be the Commander/Commandant of the Panama Canal and eventually returned to command Fort Lewis. David died many years before Anita. Both are buried in the historic Ft Lewis cemetery in prime plots. (If there is such a thing!)
I wish the pictures I have were clearer. I used an inexpensive digital camera and the detail is almost nonexistent. Thorne states that the picture is a Sargent. I don't recall a signature on the painting. There are other wonderful things in his home that came from Thornewood, and all are quite genuine and remnants of the huge structure the Thorne's called home. Thorne is a retired attorney living high atop Nob Hill in San Francisco.
Interesting to say the least!
I enjoyed the photo of the painting of Anita Thorne very much. I found your site while doing some research. . . . I do not recognize the name Smith in Anita's history. Could you please help me by telling me how that names fits in? The painting is fabulous. I only wish it could hang at Thornewood.
Best wishes and thanks again,
By: Natasha Wallace
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