Gillette Castle & State Park Photos and Info
| Located within East Haddam, Connecticut just
on the edges of the Connecticut River is this Medieval styled home (now
a museum) of William Hooker Gillette(1853-1937). Gillette, an American actor
and playwright is best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.
It was in 1943 that the State of Connecticut purchased this striking structure and the adjoining land from the executors of William Gillette's will. This 184 acre estate within which is the 24 room mansion is quite the attraction considering its resemblance to a medieval castle, the spectacular vistas as seen from this locale and the gorgeous stone and woodworking found within. Connecticut Dreaming had the extreme thrill of visiting Gillette Castle in mid Summer 2004 and was swept away by the spectacular view of the Connecticut River down below.
An interesting item to note is of how Gillette who had no formal training whatsoever in architecture, conceived, designed and overlooked the construction of his dream home. This stunning and what some might call ingenious result of a home shines brightly upon no only Mr. Gillette's vision and ingenuity but also his slight bit of eccentricity. One of the many examples of the man's desire for never being boring is/was his penchant for trains. He was a train buff who had constructed a 3 mile miniature railway on the property. It was powered by 2 locomotives. The story goes that he used to love taking his guests for rides on these trains.
Within the area is allowed picnicking, camping and hiking.
As of this writing in Summer, 2004 there are no fees for parking nor for visiting this Connecticut Sight. Although there was a $5.00 fee for partaking in the very in-depth tour of the home and for the pleasure exploring all floors of the home.