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November 20, 2006

Gillette's Castle

William Gillette was best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on stage, he also wrote, produced and performed a play entitled Sherlock Holmes (adapted from a version originally written by Conan Doyle). The play was praised by contemporary critics and audiences alike. Through his association with this play, he broadly amassed fans all around the world.

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Leading to the castle

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In 1912, while sailing the Connecticut river, Gillette spotted a hill, part of the Seven Sisters, over a ferry's pier in Hadlyme.

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View from the river!

He docked, disembarked and climbed up. He was so amazed by the view that he purchased 115 acres of land, the next month. He decided to build up a castle at this location based on the Norman fortress Robert the Devil.

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Julie and the view of the river

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The material for the castle was carried up by an aerial-trolley designed by him. The castle's walls tapered from 5 feet thick at the base to 3 feet at the upper levels.

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The castle possessed 24 rooms and 47 doors, with puzzled hand-carved locks, which were also devised by Gillette. The main salon measured 30 by 50 feet and was 19 feet in height, featuring a complex mirrored system of surveillance that ended in his bedroom. He explained this as a means "to make great entrances in the opportune moment".

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The mansion was finished in 1919, at a cost of 1 million US dollars. Gillette called it Seven Sisters.

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Grand Central Station- Its small train was his personal pride. The train's layout was 3 miles long, and it travelled all around the property. Gillette also enjoyed strolls on his property in company of his guests, Albert Einstein among them.

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And on to our hike...

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and rock hunt.

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The train tunnel

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Have you heard of letterboxing? It's FUN!!!

Posted by Heather at November 20, 2006 07:10 PM

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