Chateau Laroche Castle

LOVELAND, OHIO

Construction on Loveland Castle began in 1929 by Boy Scout Troop Leader Harry D. Andrews,  who decided that the massive undertaking would make a great side project. Harry’s obsession with medieval architecture began when he was Knighted for his bravery as a medic on the front lines during WWI. After returning home from the war only to find that his fiance had married another man, Harry poured his attention into building the Loveland Castle, the surrounding mote, and drainage system.

Almost every aspect of the castle is handmade, and that includes a large portion of the bricks, which Harry made out of cement and milk cartons after running out of stones from the nearby river. In the 50 years it took Harry to complete his project, he went through 32,000 milk cartons, 2,600 bags of cement, and over 56,000 pails of stone, but it was all worth it when he surveyed the finished result. When everything was said and done, the entire castle was built for 12 thousand dollars.

Harry liked the castle so much that he moved in.

Harry lived out the rest of his life in his incredible castle near the river, but unfortunately, his last few years were rather tragic ones. The problem with owning a castle in the middle of Ohio was that it drew quite a bit of attention, sometimes of the unsavory kind. Harry was content to share his odd home with visitors, even giving tours to curious locals in exchange for donations, but more than once Harry found himself at the mercy of thieves who stole of his money, food, and property.

Near the end of his life, things had gotten so bad at Loveland Castle that Harry had begun nailing the donation box shut and sleeping with a gun next to his bed. This helped little, as one night he was not only beaten with is own gun, but the donation box was ripped off the wall and stolen altogether.

Finally, on March 31, 1981, Harry climbed the stairs to the roof of Loveland Castle, where he kept a barrel for burning his trash. While burning his garbage, a task he was used to doing every week, Harry accidentally set his polyester pants on fire, and because he was preoccupied with removing the loaded gun from his pocket, which he had begun to carry for security, he was badly burned. Harry Andrews died of gangrene 16 days later. He was 91 years-old.

In his will, Harry had left his incredible home the local Boy Scouts, the Knights of the Golden Trail, who have spent the last three decades performing extensive upgrades on Loveland Castle. It seems Harry is happy with the upkeep, because by all reports, he’s decided to stick around. After all, what’s a medieval castle without a ghost?

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