Running an Estate

Security Guards at Duke Farms, undated

Security Guards at Duke Farms, undated

Imagine owning five homes, with each an average area of 33,000 square feet. Like her parents, Doris Duke divided her time between her estates. Despite these absences, she proved to be an effective, hands-on home owner, and intimately involved in the daily operations of each estate.

Keeping the expansive Duke Farms secure was a priority for Doris. Security guards patrolled the estate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They provided daily reports on visitors, the weather, and mileage traveled each day on the estate.

 

Security Ledger, 1978

Security Ledger, 1978

To keep track of the daily activities at Duke Farms, the security guards on duty kept detailed logs, noting everything from suspicious behavior to mundane information such as finding litter on estate grounds.
Security Ledger Details, 1978

Security Ledger Details, 1978

The dogs Sasha and Raquel were frequently getting loose.
Doris Duke's Whereabouts, 1940s

Doris Duke's Whereabouts, 1940s

Doris’ wealth gave her the opportunity to travel extensively both nationally and internationally. This page from a document of Doris’ whereabouts gives an idea of her hectic lifestyle during the 1940’s.
Rough Point Receipt, 1924

Rough Point Receipt, 1924

It took a great deal of furniture, artwork, and other household items to fill each home. Doris and her parents kept receipts of all their purchases and inventories of what was in each room of each home. This receipt from 1924 gives an idea of what type of items were purchased to furnish Rough Point.
1939 Shangri La Inventory

1939 Shangri La Inventory

At 14,000 square feet, Shangri La is furnished with more than 3,500 objects from several Middle Eastern countries. This page from the 1939 inventory of Shangri La illustrates how these objects were itemized.