Isabel Weld Perkins was born on March 29, 1876, to a prominent Boston family. Her grandfather, William Fletcher Weld, had amassed a huge shipping fortune and it was in 1881, at the age of 5, that Isabel inherited this fortune. Estimated to be around $17 million, it instantly made her the wealthiest female in America.
After completing her education, Isabel did what many aristocratic young women did at the time and travelled through Europe as a debutante. In 1896, during her time in Italy, she met a young man serving at the United States Embassy in Rome. His name was Larz Anderson.
By 1897, Larz and Isabel were already married and embarked on a life of luxury, political service and philanthropy. The Andersons split their time between a lavish mansion in Washington, D.C., a summer retreat in New Hampshire, and their sprawling estate in Brookline. Their home in Washington is now owned and operated by the Society of the Cincinnati, while the Brookline estate is now home to both a vast public park operated by the Town of Brookline and the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.