Aug 19, 2015

Castle Chateau La Roche

"Chateau La Roche was built as an expression and reminder of the simple strength and rugged grandeur of the mighty men who lived when Knighthood was in flower. It was their knightly zeal for honor, valor, and manly purity that lifted mankind out of the moral midnight of the dark ages, and started it towards a gray dawn of human hope." from the forward, "Chateau La Roche" booklet. 

It was a glorious day. The sky was bright blue with puffy clouds. This day was ordained to be an adventure. And it was. 

My nephew and I decided to visit a castle in Loveland, Ohio called, "Chateau La Roche. It was named after the original in France. 

Harry Andrews built this castle from the ground up. From his youth he was fascinated with Medieval times, dreaming of knights, castles, and chivalry.   He bought a plot of land along the Little Miami River, northeast of Cincinnati, so that he could invite his Sunday school children over and have small parties. The boys were able to camp, fish, and slept in tents. Eventually, Harry called his group the Knights of the Golden Trail. The tents eventually decayed and Harry built the boys two small rooms to stay in, which were called stone tents. This was the beginning for Castle La Roche.  But let me back up to the beginning of his story.

Harry was a WWI veteran and served as a medic. During his enlistment he contracted spinal meningitis and was declared dead.  He was moved to the morgue. Harry's records were marked "deceased" and sent to Washington.  As the doctors began working on his body they decided to use a new drug called adrenaline. The doctors pierced his heart, gave Harry a punch, and his heart began to beat again.  

When Harry revived, he was paralyzed and blind. After a while his sight was restored but not fully and Harry ended up wearing glasses. Six months later his fiance married another man before news reached her that he was not dead after all. Harry never married and avoided women altogether. 

In 1927, Harry purchased his land and in 1929 began building. All of the bricks are made of concrete and quart sized paper milk cartons were used as the mold. The total cost to build this work of art was around $12,000 and 23,000 hours of hard labor. 

The castle has electricity, water pump, oil-burning furnace, running water, sewers, and a telephone. 

We came not knowing what to expect. I was taken in by the feeling of times past. The castle was simply decorated and a couple of the rooms were blocked off that still contained memorabilia of the previous owner. I tried to capture what I could, but sadly it was very limited. 

Life was not easy for Harry and it was spent toiling the land and building a place that he always dreamt of.  He not only built the castle but created the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen.

 The garden area pictured here reminds of the movie " A little Chaos" with Kate Winslet that was released recently. There is enough room for about 30-40 people to sit and watch a theatrical performance where I was standing.  

I could have sat there for hours listening to nature and enjoying the view, believe me, I wanted to very much.  

After exploring every possible inch of the property we headed for home, but not until I convinced my nephew to pose one last time before we left. It was priceless!

 Oh, when I read the words manly purity in the brochure, I burst out laughing.  We know that is just a fantasy. 

The Chateau La Roche is located at:
12025 Shore Road
Loveland, OH. 
Ph# 513-683-4686
Admission: $5.00 per person