David Belasco’s successful and influential career as a theatrical producer and playwright stretched between 1884 and 1930.  A frequent visitor to Boonsboro, he wrote, directed, or produced more than 100 Broadway plays including The Heart of Maryland.  This highly successful romantic Civil War-themed melodrama opened in New York in 1895 and ran for 240 performances. The play and subsequent silent film versions took place in the “typical Southern town” of Boonsboro.  Filming of the 1915, 1921 and 1927 silent film productions used a “Southern mansion” called “Lilacs on Rose Hill”, which stood on the property of today’s Reeders Memorial Home.  Maurice Barrymore (father of John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore) starred as Major Alan Kendrick and actress Leslie Carter played Maryland Calvert.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress