George A. "Frolic" Weymouth, a gregarious artist, conservationist, carriage whip, and fixture of the Brandywine River community, passed away April 24th. Beginning with the 1961 purchase of his 250 acre Big Bend estate, he became a driving force behind the founding and growth of the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art. Through that unique institution, tens of thousands of acres of land have been permanently protected in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware.
In the 1960's, Weymouth and friends purchased the initial tracts of land that would become part of the Conservancy, and he was chairman of its board until the time of his death. One of the most significant accomplishments during this long tenure was protection of nearly 5,000 acres of the King Ranch in Pennsylvania, which had been slated for commercial development. Through a series of careful negotiations, most of the land was placed into easement, and Cheshire still hunts over a portion of it today.
In addition to his commitment to open space preservation, Weymouth was an accomplished artist. He served on the United States Commission of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Brandywine River Museum. Through this avocation, he became close to Andrew Wyeth and other members of the Wyeth family, whose work is featured at the Museum, originally an abandoned mill along the river.
Among many other outdoor and social pursuits, Weymouth excelled at coaching, adding that spectacle to the point to point at Winterthur and competing at Devon. He even drove a four-in-hand from Manhattan to Saratoga Springs in 1985.
As the Conservancy's Press Release regarding his death observed, "[He] was a visionary conservationist, philanthropist, a highly-talented artist and accomplished sportsman." Contributions may be made to the Frolic Weymouth Endowment Fund of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art.
To view the Conservancy's full tribute on their website, please click here.