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Gillette's Castle - July 4, 2008 - Gary & Peter
Gary, Peter Molenaar and myself spend the July 4th holiday visiting Gillette's Castle after we had taken the Essex Steamtrain and Riverboat tour.
GILLETTE CASTLE was built by actor William Gillette. Best known for his role as Sherlock Holmes, Gillette had construction started in 1914 and it was not completed until 1919, at a cost of $1,000,000. Standing at 200 feet above sea level, with imposing granite walls, 4 to 5 feet thick, and 24 oddly shaped rooms, it affords visitors one of the most spectacular views of the Connecticut River Valley.
The rather eccentric Gillette, best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, first spotted the location where he would build his castle on a boat trip up the Connecticut River in 1912. Gillette Castle, built at a cost of about $1 million and completed in 1919, features a number of peculiarities including hidden mirrors, a lock-protected bar and intricate, hand-carved door latches on each of the castle's 47 doors--no two are alike
Gillette was born in Hartford in 1853 and was descended from the city's founder, Thomas Hooker. His family didn't support his pursuit of acting as a profession, but he went on to make his own fortune writing, producing and starring in plays.