William S. Hart Park and Home

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From their brochure.

A map of the grounds. I got lost the first time I went. I took the road to the campgrounds.

A map of the grounds. I got lost the first time I went. I mistakenly took the road to the campgrounds. I walked about a mile in the heat turned around and walked a mile back. I was so sweaty when I got back to my car that I went home and came back the next day.

The guard post.

The guard house.

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Translation: The hill of the winds.

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The house cost $93,000 when it was built in 1927.

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The entrance to the home has a great staircase that my camera was only able to partially capture.

The entrance to the home has a great staircase and newel post lamp that my camera was only able to partially capture.

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The big dining room.

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This image of Hart, by James Montgomery Flagg, hangs on one of the walls in the dinning room.

This image of Hart, by James Montgomery Flagg, hangs on one of the walls in the dining room. Flagg did the famous WWI recruiting poster of Uncle Sam pointing with the text, “I Want You.”

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The tour guide said Hart used this breakfast nook more than the formal dining room.

A glimpse of the kitchen. I wish I had those cabinets in my tiny bungalow.

A glimpse of the kitchen. I wish I had those cabinets in my tiny bungalow. That’s a lot of storage. There were even more cabinets in the walk through pantry.

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This early image of Hart is in the foyer. He won the cup and all the medals for speed-walking.

This early image of Hart is in the foyer. He won the cup and all the medals for speed-walking.

At the top of the staircase looking down.

At the top of the staircase looking down into the foyer.

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The living room on the second floor.

I'm including this image because you can see another James Montgomery Flagg painting of Hart's sister. His sister is responsible for his divorce.

I’m including this image because you can see another James Montgomery Flagg painting of Hart’s sister Mary Ellen. His sister was responsible for William S. Hart’s divorce. It came down to an ultimatum. The sister won. The wife lost. Hart never married again.

Originally, when I heard the tale of Hart’s marriage to Winifred Westover, I figured it was a sham Hollywood marriage designed to hide a secret Hart was living with. Hart was 57 and Westover was 22. Married in 1921, he and Westover lived together for less than six months before Hart ordered Westover out of the house.

Westover later said, “We had our difficulties but I am sure that if it had not been for the return of his sister, Miss Mary Hart, we would have been able to adjust our troubles. But after that, nothing I ever did seemed to please him or rather, his sister.”

Westover went on to say, “It was following a long conference between my husband and his sister that I was finally ordered to leave. I could hardly believe my ears. It appeared incredible that a man with any idea of chivalry would order his wife, about to become a mother in a few months, out of her home. I thought he was joking until he sternly reiterated his order…And what added to the humiliation was the fact that guests were present at the time.”

  • Hart and Westover marry on December 7, 1921.
  • A couple of months later Westover announces she is pregnant.
  • Westover is ordered out of the house in May of 1922.
  • Bill, Jr. is born on September 6, 1922.
  • Hart gives Westover sole custody of Bill, Jr.

Their divorce was not finalized until 1927 because Hart and Westover couldn’t agree on a settlement figure. Westover eventually accepted $200,000 even though Hart was worth over $3 million at this point. Despite a world of adoring female fans Hart never married again and settled down into a comfortable existence living in this house with his sister for the last twenty-five years of his life.

When he died in 1946 William S. Hart didn’t leave the house, the land or any money from his estate to his only son, Bill, Jr.

Hart had set up a trust fund for Jr. when he was born but claimed he didn’t want to supply anymore money to Jr. because he was afraid Westover would get her hands on it. Bill, Jr. sued to gain control of the house, land and estate three times (in 1946, in 1950 and in 1955) but lost all three times. Not that it matters but I’m not convinced Bill Jr. was Hart’s biological son.

From a German Wikipedia page on the actress.

Winifred Westover. From a Norwegian Wikipedia page on the actress.

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The opposite wall in the living room.

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This statue of Hart is on the second floor landing. I think it would be weird to be surrounded by statues and photographs of yourself.

This statue of Hart is on the second floor landing. I think it would be weird to be surrounded by statues and photographs of yourself.

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The back patio.

Hart's pinto pony and co-star, Fritz, is buried on the property.

Hart’s pinto pony and co-star, Fritz, is buried on the property.

Hart, on the other hand, is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Hart, on the other hand, is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York along with his parents and sister Mary Ellen.

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From the gift shop.

I found this nice photo of Bill online which I bought.

I found this nice photo of Bill online which I bought.

At the end of his life William S. Hart couldn't take care of himself so his son was made his executor.

At the end of his life William S. Hart couldn’t take care of himself so his son was made his guardian. That’s Bill Jr. on the left. This is an old wire photo.

This is what the back of the photo says.

This is what the back of the photo says.

I bought this wire service photo off of ebay. Hart, jr. does kind of look like his father there.

I bought this wire service photo off of ebay. Hart, jr. does kind of look like his father there. 1950 was the second time Hart, jr. tried to break the will. 


Davis, R. L. (2003). William S. Hart: projecting the American west. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Oliver, M. (2004, May 25). Obituaries: William S. Hart  Jr., 81; only son of famed silent film cowboy. Los Angeles Times.

Winifred Westover:

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winifred_Westover

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