Dorothy Olcott Elsmith Papers
Dorothy Olcott Elsmith was born June 20, 1891 in Bessmer, Michigan to William James Olcott and Fannie Bailey where her father was an engineer at the Chapin Mine in Iron Mountain, Michigan. Mr. Olcott then went to the Missabe Iron Range of north Minnesota. The family lived in Duluth. She came east in 1909 to attend Smith College and graduated in the Class of 1913. In 1917 she received an M.A. from Columbia University.
On September 11, 1917 she married Frederick Gates (Yale University, A.B., 1909; Johns Hopkins, M.D., 1913) in Duluth. Dr. Gates was a researcher at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, and they lived first in New York City and later in Pelham, New York. In 1928 he went to Harvard University where died unexpectedly on June 17, 1933. Their children were Olcott (b. March 191, 1919), Barbara (b. Jan. 17, 1921), Frederick Taylor (b. Feb. 14, 1923), Dorothy (b. June 27, 1924) and Deborah (b. March 27, 1927). After the death of Dr. Gates, Ms. Olcott married Leonard Elsmith (Harvard, A.B., 1912; New York University, Ph.D., 1919).
In 1926 the Gates family purchased a home in Woods Hole, Massachusetts that became the "home base" for the family. Ms. Elsmith lived in this home (referred to as Olcottage and Herb Cottage) until 1957 when she built another home in Woods Hole she named Ros Marinus.
Ms. Elsmith was a worldwide traveler. Her specially printed Christmas cards and the books and pamphlets she authored and had printed told of her travels and family celebrations. In addition, she was active in church (Church of the Messiah, Woods Hole, Mass.) and community affairs and was an avid gardener. Ms. Elsmith died on January 29, 1984.