Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
Pictured here is the cast and crew of an Essanay Film Co. film starring Francis X. Bushman and Beverly Bayne pictured on Cornell University's Arts Quad in 1913.
Before creating his own motion picture studio -- Wharton, Inc. -- in Stewart Park in 1915, Theodore (Ted) Wharton had come to Ithaca, in 1912 sent by the Essanay Movie Co. to document typical college life at Cornell. As a filmmaker always envisioning his future films, Ted Wharton was taken with the diversity of Cornell's student population and also the beautiful natural settings Ithaca had to offer.
The pillars of Goldwin Smith Hall are visible in the background. Built in the neoclassical style in 1904, the building was designed by Carrere and Hastings, the most famous Beaux-Arts architecture firm of the time, also responsible for the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue.
The video link shows a clip from If Women Only Knew from 1920, a film produced by Cayuga Pictures which occupied the Wharton Studio building after the Whartons left Ithaca in 1919. This film takes place in a fictional campus called "University of Colburn" which is obviously Cornell University. If Women Only Knew was the last silent movie produced in Ithaca.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Wharton Studio Silent Film Tour