Have you ever thought of living in a castle? If yes, its because you think you’d be likely considered a royal. Or, what about owning your own castle? Like seriously, that would be really awesome. Its been proven that, with a little bit of war paranoia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), meningitis survival, a heartbreak, and a lifelong nostalgia of having the dignity to do so, you can build and own your own castle. Dear friends, meet Harry Andrews and welcome to Chateau Laroche, or better known as Loveland Castle.
Related media: Loveland Castle, Ohio
The Medieval Predisposition
Harry Delos Andrews was born in 1890. That’s a really long ass time if you want to talk about castles, but unfortunately, that wasn’t a time of medieval castle chivalry. Harry was chosen to serve in the army during World War I, but he chose to be a medic instead of being a soldier on the battlefield because of his moral objections. You might agree with him, after all, what’s so glorious about a war: nothing. But in fact, he wasn’t in objection to the fact that violence isn’t good, instead, he had a medieval predisposition that the war itself was not vintage, and was not being carried out by knights with great swords and battle axes defending (you guessed it) a castle.
His disposition had nothing to do with the rifles and tanks; it seemed he had a discrepancy with the modern world. He was engaged to be married when he left off to war, but unfortunately for him, he contracted meningitis, and doctors declared him to be dead in no time. Miraculously, the doctors finally conceded that he was not dead, so he survived after six months. Unfortunately for him again, his fiancée had already moved on. Hmmm! If the rest of his life was any indication, Harry didn’t seem to mind much. According to multiple accounts, he avoided women altogether from that point on.
“Nothing that God ever made on the earth is more awe inspiring and heart warming than the sight of a noble youth just budding into manhood,” He once wrote.
He was mainly (or manly) impressed with masculinity of the medieval knighthood. And unsurprisingly, perhaps, that’s why he voluntarily led a local boys’ scout troop in Loveland, Ohio, his hometown. To his own interest, he even renamed the troop with a much more suitable grandiose epithet: “The Knights Of The Golden Trail.”
Back in the roaring twenties, the Cincinnati Enquirer had a promotion that boggles the mind today: pay for a year’s subscription ahead of time, and they’d set you up with a small plot of land on the banks of the Little Miami River. Two of the boys’ parents took that offer and donated their winnings to the troop for the development of a campsite. Of course, a few tents and a campfire wasn’t enough for King “I-Am-Medievally-Awe-Inspiring” Harry. He vowed to his boys that one day, he’d build a castle on that land. And, oh my word! He lived up to his reputation. All Hail King Harry!
Harry started the project in 1929, and in fact, he worked on building the castle for over 52 years. Like what? That’s not all the castle mania. To nobody’s surprise, he had no one to help him out, not even his boys, though a few boys lend a hand. All by himself, Harry carried all 2,600 sacks of cement, 32,000 quart-size milk cartons for concrete bricks, 54,000 five-gallon buckets of dirt, and 56,000 pailfuls of stone on his lonesome. He was still working on the castle even into his 90s.
With such an eccentric personality, Harry only grew weirder and weirder as the years went by. You might even say he was paranoid for all purpose. But come on, we have a castle to build — no pain no gain. And by the late ‘70s and ‘80s, surprisingly, he started carrying a gun wherever he went. In 1981, at the age of 91, he was burning garbage on the roof when the leg of his pants caught fire, but unfortunately, he was so preoccupied with getting out his weapon that he suffered mortal injuries from the fire and that led to his death. (Now that’s how to die as a real soldier).
Now, Welcome To Loveland Castle
Today, you can still visit the castle and still find Knights of the Golden Trail standing guard over it. You’ll also find shades of Harry’s distaste of women throughout. The only reference to women in the castle’s plaques and guidebooks mentions a tiny room in the tallest tower: “In old castles such a room was used to imprison women.” Fortunately, anyone is welcome these days, regardless of nobility or gender.
Here are photos of the interior of Loveland Castle:
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Mon, Mar 11, 2019.