People of Brookline

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Sally Fairchild, 1882
1869 - 1960; never married; parents: Charles Fairchild, Elizabeth "Lilly" Nelson; lived in Boston

Her sister, Lucia, is also featured in this album. Her father was a wealthy stock broker and banker and her parents were frequent hosts of prominent artists and writers. She never married and often lived with her younger brother, Gordon: at St Paulís School where he ran the Upper School; in the Philippines; in Japan; and, when he returned to Boston around 1930, at his house at 391 Beacon St., Boston. After he died at sea in 1932 she moved to 241 Beacon St.

She made quite an impression on some very famous people of that era. There are descriptions of her by George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, George Santayana, the Fabian leader Beatrice Webb, and the Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry. Shaw took several photographs of her and corresponded with her for many years. She also gave a young Ethel Barrymore a letter of introduction to Shaw. Here is a description from Gertrude Kittredge Eaton, in her Reminiscences Of St. Paul's School: "Mrs. Fairchild had at one time what might be called a salon, in Boston. She knew all the interesting people of the day. She was one of the first to appreciate Walt Whitman. John Singer Sargent was a great friend, and painted many pictures of Sally, who had lovely red hair. Red hair fascinated Sargent. She was an early admirer of Robert Louis Stevenson. When her husband went abroad one year, she told him to look up young Stevenson and have Sargent paint his portrait, which he did. Stevenson stayed with the Fairchilds in Boston, and Gordon remembered sitting on the foot of his bed while Stevenson told him stories. There are many letters to the Fairchilds in the collected letters of Stevenson. "