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Mystery heiress

The fabulously wealthy Huguette Clark was a staple of Jazz Age headlines. But while her magnificent properties remain immaculately maintained to this day, she hasn’t been seen in decades.

Taken in 1930, this is the last known photo of Huguette Clark. Her father, a senator and copper magnate, may have been as rich as John D. Rockefeller. But though her magnificent properties continue to be immaculately maintained, Huguette Clark herself has not been seen in decades.

Huguette Clark with one of her prized dolls around 1910. Doll collecting became a lifelong passion for the reclusive heiress.

Huguette Clark in Montana circa 1923. Her father, Senator William A. Clark, made his fortune in Butte Copper Mining.

Huguette's father, William A. Clark, was as rich as Rockefeller, so he set her up in a Fifth Avenue mansion that cost three times more than Yankee Stadium.

Inside the childhood home of Huguette Clark. The Fifth Avenue mansion was a high-tech marvel for 1910, with electricity and central air conditioning. Powering it required seven tons of coal per day, brought in by the Clarks' private subway line.

In this 1925 class portrait from Miss Spence's School, Huguette Clark is sitting second from left in the front row. She confided to friends that her great wealth was a "menace to happiness."

Huguette (far left) was a prominent New York socialite during the 1920s, often attending parties at the Pierre and Plaza Hotels. But after 1931, she disappeared from the society pages.

Copyright 2007 Heritage Microfil

Huguette's great wealth drew attention to her from newspapers of the day. This 1928 cartoon portrays "A Day in the Life of Little Huguette Clark."

Copyright 2008 Heritage Microfil

Huguette's husband William M. Gower. Huguette paid William $30 a week. Her inherientance gave her $333 a day. They divorced within two years. Source: Selley G. Mudd Manuscript Library

Huguette Clark's divorce in 1930 was rich fodder for the tabloids. She was often referred to as the "Baby Copper Queen."

Copyright 2007 Heritage Microfil

Rumored to be engaged to Huguette in 1931, Edward Fitzgerald, the Duke of Leinster, was well-known in society pages as the "Daredevil Duke." He enjoyed yachting and gambling.

In 1931, it was reported that Huguette Clark might be engaged to the Duke of Leinster. However, the duke denied the rumors, and the marriage never happened.

Copyright 2005 Heritage Microfil

The Duke of Leinster told a bankruptcy judge in 1936 that he came to America to woo a wealthy heiress. Huguette Clark, apparently, didn't take the bait.

Copyright 2006 Heritage Microfil

Huguette Clark's Bellosguardo estate in Santa Barbara circa 1940. The property was built as a summer home for Huguette and her mother.

Huguette's Santa Barbara estate "Bellosguardo" as seen today. Though the property continues to be maintained by caretakers, the elusive heiress has not visited here since 1958.

A current view of Huguette Clark's Bellosguardo estate, perched above Santa Barbara, Calif.

Huguette Clark's New York apartment today includes the entire 8th floor and half the 12th floor. She has not been seen here for over 20 years, but her belongings remain.