It seems that everyone has Great Gatsby fever right now - so I thought I’d post this picture of the dining room at Kingdom Come Farm, the house built in 1905 by Howard Van Doren Shaw for banker Charles B. King in Lake Forest, IL. The house was passed on to his son, Charles G. King, who raised his daughter Ginevra King there. She is widely believed to be the inspiration for Daisy Buchanan.
“In 1915, King’s daughter Ginevra was a 16-year-old beauty, one of Chicago’s “Big Four” debutantes, visiting St. Paul, Minnesota. There she met and became, in her words, “dipped about” Scott Fitzgerald, then a student at Princeton. Their romance, conducted primarily through their letters to each other, lasted about two years, according to The Perfect Hour, a book about their relationship by James L. W. West III, a professor of English at Penn State.
Although the pair got together mainly on the East Coast, where they were both in school, Fitzgerald visited Lake Forest twice, in June 1915 and in August 1916. West couldn’t say definitively that Fitzgerald set foot on Kingdom Come Farm, only that he “stayed with a wealthy relative who lived in Lake Forest, but it seems reasonable he would have visited Ginevra in her house.”
Regardless of whether he saw the house, Fitzgerald went on to immortalize Ginevra—who abruptly broke up with the middle-class Minnesotan to marry a rich Chicago boy—in The Great Gatsby. She is widely acknowledged as a significant inspiration for Daisy Buchanan, the fragile goddess from Louisville who tossed over the striving Jay Gatsby to marry the rich Chicagoan Tom Buchanan.”