Mark the 109th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic with Mr. Carter's memories of playing Stanwyck's son in the 1953 film Titanic. Recorded in 2019.
Friends' first 10 years' accomplishments include hosting programming and docent led tours for 4,300 visitors, helping to locate funding for a badly needed roof, driveway and 32 additional parking spaces, and, with your help, installing front yard landscaping and 7 Oak trees planted by Stanwyck in 1937, but more recently lost to drought and disease.
Your contributions will go towards continued restoration of the historic estate.
Friends of Oakridge is a 501 c (3) charitable organization, EIN #45-1626582. All donations are deemed tax deductible absent any limitations on deductibility applicable to a particular taxpayer. No goods or services were provided for your contribution.
The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks recently obtained $800,000 in funding for the preservation of the Estate. Until Friends receives more guidance on when restoration will begin, Friends tours and events will be scheduled just 30 days in advance. Please add your name to our email list for some events that will be promoted exclusively to our list.
Help Friends Solve a Mystery
One of the most impressive rooms inside the Oakridge Estate is a roughly 650 square foot great room where the walls are painted with a 60 foot long pastoral scene themed around English style jumping horses. Historic photos of the house interiors suggest that Jack Oakie commissioned the mural sometime between 1941 and 1954 after removing the floor to ceiling paneling original to the house.
Friends' best guess is that the mural is unsigned. A challenge to visitors is to find initials or other artist clues hidden in the grass or leaves.
Through Jack’s archives preserved by the second Mrs. Oakie (Victoria Horne Oakie), we have pieced together that Jack hired an interior decorator, Anne Elsey Ruseau, shortly after purchasing Oakridge from Barbara Stanwcyk in 1941. Ruseau hired carpenters, plumbers, wall-paperers and carpet vendors to convert Oakridge into a home for Jack and first wife Venita. Our best guess is that Anne’s business was Orleans House in Beverly Hills.
A 1937 Vogue magazine Decorator’s Corner article places Ruseau living in Paris. Her interior decorating shop specialized in acquiring European antiques for transport to the United States. Upheaval from the beginnings of World War II was creating a buying opportunity in places the war hadn’t yet impacted.
By 1941, Anne was a buyer purchasing European antiques by the trainload for Warner Brothers. Anne and Jack Oakie likely met at Warner Brothers. Jack was there in 1941 on contract filming Navy Blues.
Please contact Friends if you have any information on the mural painter or
Anne Elsey Ruseau!!