Von Trapp Family
Maria von Trapp, the last remaining child from the beloved classic musical movie “The Sound of Music,” has died at the age of 99. She passed away peacefully at her home in Vermont on February 18, 2014. The Austria native lived in Stowe, VT, USA and died of natural causes.
Maria was the third eldest of Captain Georg von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead’s children. She outlived all of her siblings despite having poor health (a weak heart) in her early years. There were seven Von Trapp siblings in all. In both the stage and film musical versions of the von Trapp family’s story, “The Sound of Music,” Maria’s name was instead Louisa; all of the other childrens’ names were changed as well.
The Story of “The Sound of Music”
After Agathe Whitehead’s death, Maria Kutschera (played by Julie Andrews in the film) came from a nearby convent to tutor the von Trapp children. She and Georg von Trapp were later married and had three additional children. It was in large part because of Maria’s weak heart that Kutschera was hired to tutor the children. This partnership led to one of the most extraordinary musical productions of the century.
Both of Maria’s parents were talented musicians and played a number of instruments. Though the fictionalized movie account of the von Trapps’ lives differed from their actual history, the family did indeed perform as a musical group and tour to give their performances. The family left Austria in 1938 to tour and never returned. They eventually settled on a farm in the United States in the state of Vermont in 1942.
From Page, to Stage, to Screen
Maria Kutschera von Trapp wrote a book called “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.” The book sparked two German movies as well as “The Sound of Music.” The musical version of “The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway in 1959. Julie Andrews played Maria Kutschera in the 1965 film — arguably her most famous role. Christopher Plummer played Mr. von Trapp. The movie went on to win five Academy Awards, among them Best Picture.
Maria von Trapp never married. In her later life she did missionary work in Papua, New Guinea.
Many who loved the movie version of “The Sound of Music” story became enamored of the beautiful rolling countryside depicted in the movie. Picturesque getaways to European style hotels have been sought after for ever since. However, residents of the U.S. have access to “Sound of Music” style lodgings without having to travel internationally; two such establishments are the Von Trapp Resort and Stonehurst Manor.
Stonehurst Manor, North Conway, NH
Stonehurst Manor has as storied a history as the von Trapp family. The elegant, turn-of-the-century Victorian mansion is set on 33 rolling acres, offering a truly unique white mountain hotel vacation experience. Its serene interior and exceptional mountain views ensure that guests are always surrounded by comfort, inspiration and beauty.
Von Trapp Family Resort, Stowe, VT
The Trapp Family Lodge was created by the famous von Trapp family who inspired “The Sound of Music.” It’s a scenic luxury mountain resort in the European tradition featuring Austrian-inspired architecture, old world comforts, incredible mountain views and impeccable service.