As a young woman in the 1920s and '30s, Belle Baruch was a prize-winning equestrian who maintained a stable of horses in France and competed in horse shows across Europe. Her favorite mount was Souriant III, a chestnut Anglo-Arabian whom she called Toto. As World War II approached, Belle returned to the U.S. and built a home and stable at Hobcaw Barony. She brought her horses, their trainer and his family to live at Bellefield. These five clips from the Baruch Home Movies cover the range of Belle's equestrian career.
The Baruchs entertained many guests at Hobcaw Barony over the years, and documented some of them in their home movies. Most of the films appear to have been recorded in the 1920s, judging by the clothes people are wearing and the background shots of the original home on the property, which burned in 1929. These short segments provide a window into the lives of leisure that the Baruchs and their guests enjoyed while spending time at Hobcaw.
African Americans at Hobcaw Barony were not very well documented, but they can be found in some of the Baruch Home Movies. In these clips from the 1930s and '40s we see black workers interacting with the Baruchs, and in one segment an Easter party for Hobcaw's black children, hosted by Bellle Baruch.
In the summer of 1939, Belle Baruch and her partner Barbara Donohoe took a trip to the West Coast in one of Belle's airplanes. These clips of their journey have explanatory title slides that identify some of the places they visited. Late the following year, Barbara's father fell ill, and she left Hobcaw, never to return. Soon thereafter, she was married. She told an interviewer many years later, "One couldn't go on riding in horse shows forever."