The Heiress and Her Chateau: Carolands of California is a new documentary from Berkeley filmmakers Gary Weimberg and Katherine Ryan and Luna Productions.
The movie tells the story of the Hillsborough mansion known as Carolands…construction started in 1914 on the dream house of Harriett Pullman Carolan, the heiress to the Pullman Railway Car Company. Her father’s company built luxury train cars and Harriett wanted to build the most luxurious, grandest house on the Peninsula.
She spared no expense and that’s what ultimately caused her to run short on funds…the home was bought and sold several times over the years, it’s been grand and it’s been terribly run down.
The most recent private owners, Ann and Charles Johnson, restored the home to it’s original glory and donated it to a private charitable foundation that will ensure that it stays well kept and available for charity events to help fund other non-profits.
The movie was made to show on PBS, home of the hugely successful Downton Abbey series. Carolands is considered to be the Downton Abbey of the United States.
Liz Saint John talks with Gary and Katherine, the filmmakers: