The exclusive Chatsworth Club was begun by Prince Ruspoli and his wife, Pauline Marie Palma de Talleyrand-Perigord, who was heiress to Elizabeth Beers-Curtis. It was once the ancestral estate of Elizabeth Beers-Curtis and her sister, the Dowager Princess Poggio-Susan Ruspoli (Josephine Mary Beers-Curtis) who were two American daughters of Joseph Beers-Curtis, a New York real estate tycoon. A number of the members of the club were American heiresses with titled European husbands.
Once a winter home of the Marquise Talleyrand-Perigord, the home was converted into a larger clubhouse when the Chatsworth Club was formed and incorporated in New York in 1904. Members included the former Vice President of the United States, and banker, Levy P. Morton. He was President of the club. Mr. Morton’s daughter married into the Talleyrand family. Other members included John Jacob Astor, John R. Drexel, George B. deForest, Anson Phelps Stoke, Herman Oelrichs, Darius Ogden Mills and George J. Gould. The club boasted six hundred equally prominent members.
Members arrived by train from New York or Philadelphia for weekends to enjoy the fresh air of the pines, play sports, and have social gatherings. Polo, golf, tennis, horseback riding, pool, canoeing and private shooting parties were popular.
Levy P. Morton described the Chatsworth Club as being terribly exclusive. He continued to record that the clubhouse was surrounded by pines and oaks and there was neither a hotel nor cheap boarding house near enough to disturb the equanimity of the smart members or their guests. The lake at Chatsworth is two miles long and studded with small islands many of which were connected by rustic bridges. Chatsworth Club had long been famous for excellent cuisine; one of the best chefs in Europe had been imported.
The magnificent estate went to foreclosure proceedings February 5, 1908 in Mt. Holly, New Jersey and sold to a syndicate composed of Jonathan Godfrey, Leavitt J. Hunt and Thomas C. Rumbault for $20,000. At the time it was one of the largest tracts of land offered for public auction in Burlington County. The new owners stated that the tract would be developed along different lines and not continue as a resort. Mr. Godfrey had considerable interest in lands in Woodland Township and it was predicted that at least part of this purchase would be developed into cranberry land. The former club was later destroyed by fire.