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Today's Case

White House Sour Cream Raisin Pie

Subject: White House Sour Cream Raisin Pie
From: Virginia
Date: 1/31/2021, 6:34 AM

On 1/30/2021 6:45 PM, Virginia wrote:

In 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt stopped at a roadside inn in Templeton, Mass., 
for lunch. Please see attached newspaper clipping. The clipping mentions 
a Sour Cream Raisin Pie which was served at the White House during the 
administration of President Grover Cleveland, and brought back to the 
White House by Mrs. Roosevelt after her lunch in Templeton. 
Can you find this recipe?

This has been a real mystery for the historical society in Templeton, Mass.

Sincerely, Virginia 

Hello Virginia,

I tried to find something on this, but I came up empty-handed. I could not find any mention at all of a sour cream raisin pie with any connection to Eleanor Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, the White House, The Chetwood Inn in Templeton, Mass., Hazel Welch, or Abbie Pierce except for that June 30, 1941 article in The Gardiner News. I also could not find any mention of Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to The Chetwood Inn other than that one article. I cannot find any mention of sour cream raisin pie being served in The White House during FDR's administration or during Grover Cleveland's administration. There are a lot of books on White House food and on Grover Cleveland and on Eleanor Roosevelt, but I do not have them and they are not online so I have no way to search them.

Someone with access to Mrs. Roosevelt's journals, diary, or schedules from that time might check them for June 29, 1941 and see if there is any mention of Chetwood Inn or the pie. Your local historians might try to find any descendant of Hazel Welch or Abbie Pierce and see whether the pie recipe was handed down in their families. You might ask The Gardiner News for information about the author of that article and pursue that route. Another route might be via the families of the people who owned The Chetwood Inn in 1941.

I'll post this for reader input. Maybe there is an Eleanor Roosevelt historian among my readers.


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