HOUSTON – Once — or twice – Once upon a time in Texas, a fairy castle came to town.
Built for a famous actress named Colleen Moore, the castle was a magnificent dream home that spared no expense for detail. The only big difference was that the actress’ vision was small. A sumptuous residence, but precious in its meticulous furnishings.
Moore, who starred in films like “The Scarlet Letter”, “Why Be Good?” and “The Power and the Glory”, brought together a legion of his industry colleagues to help create the “fantastically proportioned” miniature house. She shared it during the Great Depression, traveling the country to raise money for children’s charities.
The castle on tour during its stops in the Lone Star State made a strong impression, as recalled “Remembering Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle” in the December 2001 Dollhouse Miniatures magazine.
Jo Ann Juliano, from Smithville, Texas, wrote this about visiting the Fairy Castle during her stop in Houston:
“In 1937 or 1938, my aunt invited my cousin and me to come to Houston to visit her. By surprise, she took us to downtown Houston, where she had learned that one of the stores displayed Colleen Moore’s marvelous castle. I already loved the little things, read fairy tales and desperately longed to find my own Thumbelina!
“Colleen Moore’s Dollhouse was by far the highlight of my young life. I love the splendor of it all. I still think of diamond chandeliers and the use of gold and other precious metals and stones. I still have my little booklet with pictures of the house.
“It was only a matter of time before I could build my own dollhouse. After that I made a fancier one and then continued to create Hansel and Gretel bedroom boxes, Rapunzel and Cinderella. My favorite thing now is dressing and winging 5” porcelain dolls like fairies. In my heart, I’m still that little girl who watched Colleen’s fairy castle with so much fascination. Moore!
Betty R. Scott, of Nederland, Texas, also visited Port Arthur Castle, Texas, circa 1946:
“I fell in love with Colleen Moore’s dollhouse around 1946, when I was 9 years old. It came to my hometown of Port Arthur, Texas, where there were no civic buildings of a suitable size. To accommodate the dollhouse, a local car dealership emptied its showroom. Hundreds of little girls and their mothers lined up to see this wonderful treasure. I still have the souvenir program. The experience inspired me to start collecting and I still have my dollhouse and all of its furniture circa 1947.
“I’ve visited the Dollhouse at the Chicago Museum and via the internet and remember my first visit as if it had just happened.
“There are other wonderful dollhouses in the world, but none are as magical as Colleen Moore’s.”
And isn’t it amazing that the fairy castle made such an impression? Take a look at the photos provided by the museum and see the stunning interiors.
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