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Time Travel

Once upon a time...Greenwich got the silent treatment

By Christopher Shields

Indian Harbor, the magnificent shorefront estate of E. C. Benedict, played a starring role nearly 100 years ago in two popular silent films. The building and grounds served as “The Prince’s Palace” in the 1914 movie “Cinderella” staring actress Mary Pickford (a co-founder of movie studio United Artists) in the title role. Particularly noticeable is the home’s grand staircase on which Cinderella loses her slipper during her midnight dash. The film is available for viewing on YouTube.

Two years later, the estate was a setting in the movie “The Salamander” in which actress Ruth Findlay played the lead character described as “a sensitive little creature, neither good nor bad, with every sensation-loving instinct alert, who is flung against the glittering, seductive luxury of New York.”

Given the long association, it’s not surprising that Greenwich locations continue to be popular with today’s movie stars, both on and off screen.

—Christopher Shields, Archivist, Greenwich Historical Society