Marjorie Merriweather Post’s (Mar-a-Lago) Private Railway Car

Marjorie Merriweather Post’s (Mar-a-Lago) Private Railway Car


President Donald Trump’s “Mar-a-Lago” may be the closest proximity you might have to the illustrious society history of Post Cereals Heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post unless you charter her former private railway car.

Originally christened Hussar, the car was built in 1922 for Post and her husband E.F. Hutton. The car was used for company business and personal travel. The famous couple journeyed between their principal residence in New York City; their Hispanic-Moresque winter estate (Mar-a-Lago) in Palm Beach; and Camp Topridge, the couple’s summer retreat in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. It was also used extensively for entertainment, as Post was known as a lavish hostess.

The Hutton’s divorced in 1935 and the Hussar became a part of Post’s settlement. She later remarried Joseph E. Davies, a Washington, D.C. attorney and ambassador to the Soviet Union and Belgium. After the Davies left for the Soviet Union in 1937, the Hussar was sold to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.

It was then used as a business car in the 1960s for railway executives. With the advent of Amtrak, the car may have been scrapped if it were not for rail aficionado DeWitt Chapple Jr. He bought the car and restored it.

Chapple retained the car’s number but added the name Chapel Hill after his alma mater, the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill. In 1972, he used his newly refurbished private car for a trip to Philadelphia on the rear of Amtrak’s National Limited (formerly a crack streamliner for the Pennsylvania Railroad). Since then he has accumulated over 250,000 miles aboard the Chapel Hill both in the United States and Canada.

Chapel Hill was one of two private cars used in President Barack Obama’s inauguration and…

Continue reading Michael L. Grace’s full article at NEW YORK SOCIAL DIARY



About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…