The great American landscape is home to a number of castles awesome enough to rival any in Europe. If you’re planning a family road trip, here are just a few to check out.
West Virginia – All turrets, towers, and weathered sandstone, Berkeley Springs Castle is a moody citadel envisioned by businessman Colonel Samuel Taylor Suit. The English-Norman castle, which was built in 1885, comes with ghost stories. Suit died before the castle was completed, and his wife, Rosa, finished it and led a royal lifestyle there until her money ran out. Legend says the spirits of Rosa and her lovers still haunt the lavish halls.
California – Hearst Castle in San Simeon, now a National Historic Landmark, was dreamt up by newspaperman, William Randolph Hearst. Opened in 1947 after 30 years of construction, the castle’s 165 rooms and 100 acres of gardens once hosted Hollywood’s glitterati. Opulent throughout, the castle boasts a Roman-inspired indoor pool, Italianate-painted ceilings, and a vast array of artwork and sculptures.
New York – Accessible by tour boat, the 120-room Boldt Castle sits on Heart Island in the Thousand Islands of the Saint Lawrence River. Built-in 1900 as a summer home by hotel magnate George C. Boldt, the Rhineland-inspired six-story castle features Italian gardens, a turreted powerhouse, and a dovecote for domesticated pigeons—and the finest imported Italian marble, Oriental rugs, and French silks money could buy.
Massachusetts – A modern-day Frankenstein castle on the rocky shores of the Atlantic, Hammond Castle in Gloucester was completed in 1929 as a home and museum for John Hays Hammond, Jr., an American inventor credited as the ‘Father of the Radio Control.’ Featuring a great hall with elaborate rose windows, a pipe organ, an indoor courtyard, a dining room, a library, and secret passageways, the 16th century-style castle houses Hammond’s collection of Renaissance, Roman, and medieval art.
Ohio – Loveland Castle, aka Chateau Laroche, sits on the banks of the Miami River. Built-in 1929 by medievalist and Boy Scout troop leader Harry D. Andrews, the castle’s architecture models those he’d visited in Europe, a combination of German, French and English styles. In addition to its vast collection of weapons, the castle is said to house a number of ghosts, including Harry, who died in a tragic accident at the castle in 1981.
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