Claire Adams was a star during Hollywood's silent screen era. She left that world behind her when she married Donald 'Scobie' Mackinnon and came to live in rural Victoria.
Canadian born Claire Adams (1898-1978) began acting in films at 14, eventually appearing in over 40, including The Big Parade, the second largest grossing silent film in cinema history. Her leading men included Tom Mix, Adolphe Menjou and Lon Chaney but she often quipped her favourite leading man was animal ‘actor’ Rin Tin Tin.
Adams married film producer Benjamin B. Hampton in 1924 who died in 1932. In 1937 Adams was in London and about to take on a job as a film executive. At a party she was introduced to Australian sheep farmer Donald ‘Scobie’ Mackinnon. It was love at first sight and they married three weeks later.
“We’re getting married tomorrow,” Mackinnon recounted to reporters, after bursting into Adams’s hotel one morning.
“I just came over for a Coronation holiday. Didn’t have any idea of getting married. Well, after May we’re going back to my sheep station in Australia.”
In 1938, the Mackinnons arrived at Mooramong, the sheep station near the town of Skipton. They transformed the Victorian era homestead into a fashionable abode of Art Deco elements and Moderne design and divided their time between Mooramong and a Melbourne town-house.
After his death in 1974, Mackinnon left his entire estate to Adams. On her death, she bequeathed Mooramong to the National Trust of Victoria for the creation of a wildlife sanctuary and fauna and flora park.