When I heard of a castle residing in Ohio I was some kind of astonished, and when I heard said castle resides in the Cleveland metropolitan area I immediately had a bucket list item to add.
As a history lover, I have spent countless time starting at pictures of glorious castles strewn across the European landscape dreaming of the trans-Atlantic flight that would take me there. Seeing that America wasn’t colonized until the late 16th and early 17th century, when castles had gone out of style, you see why I wouldn’t dream of one residing stateside. You can imagine my surprise when I realized there are castle-like structures in America, like the Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C., but I would have never dreamt of one gracing the landscape of Cleveland, Ohio.
With news of this discovery, I knew an adventure must be made and so I set out to Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation to find this mythical castle of Cleveland. Lo and behold upon arrival I was flabbergasted, it was indeed a castle-like structure, or at least a shell of one at this point. If it wasn’t for the fact nobody around me had an accent I would have thought for a moment I was in Europe, but nope I was still in Ohio. I could have gotten lost in the walls of that castle for most of the afternoon if I’m honest, even with the minimal construction remaining of the structure.
The structure known as Squires Castle was built by Feargus Squire, an executive of Standard Oil Company, yes that oil company run by the famous Rockefellers and originally headquartered out of Cleveland mind you. It was built in the 1890’s to serve as the gatehouse and quarters for the estate’s gatekeeper. Squire’s main resident was never built though and eventually it was sold to the Cleveland Metroparks in 1925. After renovations and preservation, Squires Castle became the heart of the North Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks with space for people to hold picnics and go walking.
As I mentioned earlier, I could have spent hours just immersed in the surroundings of Squires Castle. Even though it was only a shell of the original building, it just felt like an inspiring place to spend your time. I felt like I could have written within it’s halls for hours and not notice time pass.
I joke that I could easily live in there even though it has no doors or windows. With this residing in northeast Ohio, the winter months would be hard to manage I realize, but with a ton of blankets and lighting up fire in this fireplace and I felt I could make it through most of winter at the very least.
As things stand, I guess it will suffice to just visit this wonderful place when I can and get a little bit more lost every time I visit. If you haven’t been there before, I promise you even with the tiniest bit of imagination when you walk through the stone walls you will feel yourself traveling back in time. I personally feel until someone invents a time traveling DeLorean (I’m still confident it will happen) visiting historical places and buildings is the closest we will get to time travel.