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Colleen’s Castle

June 2024
1min read

In “Overrated & Underrated” (May/June issue), Jeanine D. Basinger mentioned Colleen Moore among the silent film stars (she was the original wearer of the geometric haircut L Louise Brooks made famous). Colleen Moore used her movie money to build an elaborately furnished Fairy Castle that toured America from coast to coast, raising almost $650,000 between 1935 and 1939 for children’s charities.

After the Depression, the Fairy Castle went to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It has been there on exhibit for the past half-century, and today close to a million people view it each year. During a mid-1930s visit to Chicago, it drew 22,000 visitors in a single day. One of them, my widower father, persuaded Colleen Moore to abandon California, move to cold, windy Chicago, marry him, and raise his two children. As my mother could attest, he was obviously a salesman.

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