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Warren County Historical Society Presents …
The Digital Version “REWIND”
January 16, 2015
1949-PHOTOPLAY DREAM HOME CONTEST
Marilyn Monroe examining item with Virginia MacAllister and her son, Rusty. June 1949 at Ten James Street, Warrensburg, New York.
The contest was sponsored by Photoplay Magazine was a contest with a dream-home as the first prize.
Don Buka, Marilyn Monroe, Virgina MacAllister, Don Defore, Rusty MacAllister.
Marilyn Monroe attended along with other actors such as Don DeFore, Lon McCallister and Donald Buka,also attending were Cotton Northrup, executive vice-president of the National Retail Lumber Dealers Association.
Marilyn on train to Warrensburg, seated next to actor Don Buka.
The winner, Virginia MacAllister had to attend the event on crutches, having had a skiing accident, widowed since 1945, with her son, Rusty, five years-of-age.
A young (22) Marilyn Monroe with Virginia MacAllister and her son Rusty, June 1949.
Mrs. MacAllister’s husband, the late Rev. Gordon MacAllister, was an Episcopal minister with a parish in Trenton, New Jersey. He died of polio, after a three-day illness, in 1945.
Local Radio Station WWSC broadcast events of the day from inside the new home.
The owner of the local lumber company that built the house of the winner, Mr. Griffin, made an inspection of the house next to Marilyn and Donald. The home had a large basement, after a special request from Rusty, which did not appear in the original plans.
Actors cleaning the new house!
The house which Mrs. MacAllister won, was selected by movie stars, Shirley Temple, Loretta Young, Claudette Colbert, Gregory Peck, Joan Crawford and director Mitch Leisen.
Local Radio Station WWSC broadcast events of the day.
Photoplay’s editor, Adele Fletcher, presented the deed to the house, along with keys, to winner, Mrs. MacAllister. Following the ceremony, Photoplay organized a cocktail party at the Colonial Arms in Warrensburg. The winner and the stars, who were still in the number Ten James Street home, were late to the party!
Marilyn Monroe and other guests at the Party held at the former Colonial Arms in Warrensburg.
The Colonial Arms used to be located on Main Street where, in 2015, the Rite Aid Pharmacy is located. The Pharmacy’s front facade is what was the front facade of the former Colonial Arms.
Colonial Arms Hotel, Warrensburg New York, the facade still stands as part of the Rite Aid Pharmacy at the same location.
Marilyn at Warrensburg, NY, June 1949.
Marilyn Monroe at a dance lesson 1949. She visited Warrensburg as part of the Photoplay Magazine Dream Home Contest. She was also promoting the film, “Love Happy” at that time.
To read a July 1949 National Retail Lumbermen’s Association article with specific details of the home details click the following link. This opens in Adobe PDF, an 11 Megabyte file. Put 44 in the page box near the left where where it says Page [xx] of 116. Press enter and wait for page to load. It wiill likely open in a new tab on your browser. Look for a tab starting with 1949 JULY. Article is on Page 44, 4 and part of 46 in this document.
Note: added above link at 9PM 1-20-2015, Webmaster.
* * * Added: 2-27-2015 ___ The winning jingle
FROM Photoplay: “Here’s a home that is perfect for me, Engineered by a great Industry, A Photoplay prize, Where happiness lies …”
From Virginia McAllister: ” A place, any place near the school, … I love the Town. It was my husband’s last request … he asked that I bring up Rusty in Warrensburg.”
See this link at the Glens Falls Post Star – lots of Human Interest additions in this article! Added 2-27-2015
Prepared for Warren County Historical Society by Gary Evans.
© January 16 2015, Warren County Historical Society.