William Hooker Gillette was an American actor-manager, playwright, and stage-manager in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best remembered for portraying Sherlock Holmes on stage and in a 1916 silent film thought to be lost until it was rediscovered in 2014.
He built an extraordinary stone castle above the Connecticut River in East Haddam. Born in the Nook Farm neighborhood of Hartford, Connecticut.
Gillette grew up in a politically progressive atmosphere. His father, former US Senator Francis Gillette, supported reform movements including public education and the abolition of slavery; his mother, Elizabeth Daggett Hooker Gillette, was a direct descendant of Connecticut Colony co-founder Thomas Hooker. The family’s neighbors included Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain.