A question from a reader about Edwin Binney’s involvement with Binney Park (yes, the inventor Crayola crayons lived in Old Greenwich and contributed the land that formed the park bearing his name) reminded me that D.W. Griffth, among others, used to come out to Greenwich to shoot silent films across from the swamp that’s now Binney, in what was then Laddin’s Rock Farm. The late Charlie Turner of Riverside was an authority on this era (1908-1920 ish) but I could find nothing written by him on the web. I did find this brief New York Times article, if you’re interested.
Nothing in the article about my grandmother Leatrice Joy filming here and I don’t remember her ever mentioning that she did but she was Griffith’s favorite star, or so she insisted, so she might have. It would be fitting if she had because she loved to sit in Binney Park across the street from Laddin’s Rock and watch the activity around the pond. After her death we donated an iron bench with her name on it to the town, with the request that it be installed at Binney’s pond. The bench was once one of many, each with a star’s name, gracing Hollywood Boulevard, and Grandmother brought it east when she moved here. It sat by the flagpole for many years but vandals enjoyed tossing it in the pond. The first time that happened we appealed to then First Selectman Tom Ragland to have park workers rescue it, which they did, but it disappeared again a few years later and I presume it’s now rusting away in the muck. So it goes.