Isabel Weld Perkins was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 29th, 1876, to a prominent Boston family. Isabel’s grandfather, William Fletcher Weld, had built a successful shipping fleet of clipper ships known as the Black Horse Fleet.
In 1881, at the age of 5, Isabel inherited her grandfather’s shipping fortune, estimated to be $17 million, and instantly became the wealthiest female in America. In 1896, Isabel was a young debutante traveling abroad in Italy when she met Larz Anderson, who was then serving at the United States Embassy in Rome.
In 1897, the two were married in Boston and embarked on a life of luxury and political service. Larz would later serve as Ambassador to Japan and Isabel would serve as a nurse during World War I. The Andersons split time between their home in Brookline, a lavish mansion in Washington, D.C., and a summer retreat in New Hampshire. Their home in Washington is now owned and operated by the Society of the Cincinnati.
The sixty-four-acre estate in Brookline is a vast public park now owned by the Town of Brookline and is home to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.