Marie Louise Mackay
See also The Mackay Family Tree
Marie Louise (Mrs. John W.) Mackay and her son (Clarence) never spent much time in Nevada, even while Mackay was alive; they lived in San Francisco, New York, Paris, and finally in London, before coming back to the United States in 1920. She entertained lavishly, wining and dining royalty and heads of state, using the silver service which was the envy of society on both continents.
The personal fortune that Mackay passed on to his family was substantial, and his son and widow became interested in keeping his legacy alive. The family commissioned a statue by a well-known artist of the time, Gutzon Borglum. Originally, the statue was to stand on the grounds of the Capitol in Carson City, but some politicians balked at cluttering up the grounds with "cheap statuary". The president of the University of Nevada, Dr. Joseph Stubbs, jumped in and donated a site.
In return, Clarence and Marie Louise Mackay agreed to finance a new mining building to honor their loved one. Architect Stanford White had done some work for Clarence Mackay, and had also designed several buildings on the University of Virginia campus, and Madison Square Garden. His intent was to create a quadrangle somewhat like Thomas Jefferson's at the University of Virginia. White's influence was definitely felt in the Mackay plans. Today, the Nevada Quad is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is categorized as a "Jeffersonian academic village".
The Mackays created an endowment to support the mining building, contributed money to purchase the land to build the original Mackay Stadium where Mackay Science Hall now stands, and gave funds to landscape the Quad. For many years after, it was known as the Mackay Quad. Everyone knew that you NEVER walked across the Quad, you always walked around the paths that lined the edge. This was a Nevada tradition that lasted several decades and kept the grass green and healthy.
Inside the mining building, a museum was created, also named for Mackay. Now known as the W.M. Keck Mining Museum, it was renovated in 1993 and is open to the public on weekdays from 8-5. The remainder of the renovated space opened as the DeLaMare Library on August 4, 1997.
In 1930, the Mackays donated funds for the Mackay Science Hall. The endowment to the School of Mines still exists, and serves the purpose that the Mackay family intended -- to support the best mining school in the country. The School of Mines held a reunion for Mackay family relatives in the spring of 1996. They toured the campus and saw the many buildings that the Mackay legacy donated to the university.
Michael Mackay, John Mackay's great, great grandson, spoke at the October 15, 1997 dedication of the DeLaMare Library.
Ellin Berlin, the granddaughter of Marie Louise and the wife of Irving Berlin, wrote several books, among them one about her grandmother, entitled, Silver Platter: A Portrait of Mrs. John Mackay.