Marie Hersey was one of Fitzgerald's great friends in dance class, in Elizabethan theater productions, a partner at a dance at the Louis and Maud Hill House. In January of 1915, she introduced Scott to Ginevra King, her roommate at Westover Academy. Ginevra became his romantic interest while at Princeton and, in his fiction, the prototype of the American flapper – rich, beautiful, poised… sought after. ( Kublas, 37). A heart –breaker she can be found in This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night. Fitzgerald kept her letters to the end of his life.
Marie Hersey probably became the heroine of many of his short stories, especially the Basil Duke Lee Series. She married William Hamm, Jr. heir to a brewery fortune, who was kidnapped and held for ransom in 1933 by the Alvin Karpis and Ma Barker Gangs during St Paul’s “gangster” days. In a 1936 letter to Marie, Fitzgerald wrote about St. Paul, “ In Spite of 15 years absence, it is still home to me”.
Marie’s home is another Queen Anne but done in heavy masonry. The lightness of its original wooden porch and balcony were replaced in 1910 by Edward L Hersey with its present stone porch and west addition.