So I was going through some of my notes in preparation for the DVD design and realized that today was Chester Gillette’s birthday. He was born August 9, 1883 in Wickes, Montana. After Montana, Chester became quite the itinerant traveler, winding up in Hawaii, Illinois and California, just to name a few places. But on his 23rd birthday, in 1906, he was behind bars in Herkimer, NY, accused of murdering Grace Brown on Big Moose Lake.
Thanks to the “Friends of Historic Herkimer County” we were lucky enough to gain access to the 1834 Herkimer County Jail for a day of filming in July 2009, and the footage figures prominently in the film. It was really sobering to sit in Chester’s jail cell and see his view. We even attempted to duplicate Chester’s amusing cell decorations (see below).