Deirdre Garton Remembers Julie Harris

Deirdre Garton, wife of Ten Chimneys Foundation Founder Joe Garton, remembers Julie Harris…

 “I will never forget meeting Julie Harris for the first time when she came to tour Ten Chimneys in 1999 while in a play in Chicago. Along with several Ten Chimneys staff members, Joe and I met her and her fellow actors at the driveway close to the Cottage and greeted one another heartily. They were all so glad to be in Genesee Depot and to tour Ten Chimneys.

As we outlined the program for the tour, folks started to move toward the front door and Joe took the bulk of the group inside to begin the conversation. Ms. Harris held back a bit from the rest of the group before coming up the steps. I waited for her at the top of the steps to escort her into the Cottage. I remember looking down on this lovely, grey haired, small, smiling person who walked gingerly up the stairs. She was looking around the grounds, taking in every detail of what she saw with such reverence that it seemed she was taking in the vibrations of the Lunts’ universe.

And she was. As she walked through each building, Ms. Harris quietly observed each treasure carefully, listened to each story intently and told her own stories of the Lunts. When we reached the Main House living room and she heard the story of the miniature Shakespeare collection being given to Lynn by Ellen Terry, she knelt down at the table, turned her head expectantly and asked if she could touch it. Joe said, “Of course.”

Three luminaries of the English-speaking theater all touched that set of Shakespeare. After that morning I never again questioned Joe’s vision for Ten Chimneys helping to keep the light of theater shining.” 

What is Ten Chimneys?

Ten Chimneys, the estate lovingly created by theatre legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, is open to the public as a world-class house museum with a progressive mission to serve the arts.

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PO Box 225, Genesee Depot 53127
S43 W31575 Depot Road
Genesee Depot, WI 53127

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