It’s not every day you encounter a medieval castle in the United States. Two years ago, Charlie and I made this chance encounter as we headed toward a ferry to cross the Connecticut River. We arrived too late to take the tour at that time and resolved to return. It was a resolution worth the effort.
William Gillette (1853-1937) was an enormously successful American actor, best known for his numerous performances onstage as Sherlock Holmes. Creative and inventive, he imagined and realized his dream of building a castle on the bank of the Connecticut River. The structure is made of steel and covered with stone with admirable effect. Here is a pictorial tour of this clever residence.
Living room - greeting area for guests
William Gillette had a series of mirrors installed in the greeting room. He could stand at his balcony and inspect the company without being seen. If he did not wish to see them, he vanished.
Master bedroom with mechanical invention to adjust and control lighting.
Terrace garden room
View of the Connecticut River
and ferry crossing
Gillette Castle State Park is located at 67 River Road East Haddam, Connecticut. Bring the kids. They will enjoy the inventions and stairways. There is a comfortable out building with a museum and cafe and wonderful views. There are also hiking paths. The ferry is just below with convenient access to highways.