Chateau Laroche AKA the Loveland Castle

Loveland Castle

If you’ve been to a Midsummer Masquerade, then you are familiar with Chateau Laroche, better known as Loveland Castle. Nestled along the Little Miami River in Symmes Township, Ohio (yes, the castle is technically not in Loveland!), it makes for a great backdrop for events with a fantasy flair.

But there are things that you may not know.

Origins of the Castle

Sir Harry Andrews 1Most people know that the castle was built mostly by hand by one man, Sir Harry Andrews. Sir Harry was an army medic in World War One. During the war, he was declared legally dead in Europe from spinal meningitis. By the time word reached his fiancee in America that he was alive, 6 whole months later, she had married another man.  So after the war, he stayed in Europe visiting castles, and learning their history.

When he returned, he worked very closely with the Boy Scouts.  2 parents of scouts donated adjacent plots of land along the Little Miami River, received by buying newspaper subscriptions, to Sir Harry and he turned it into a scout camp. Eventually he built 2 stone “tents” for the scouts to keep their equipment in. This set his mind racing, if he could build stone tents, why not one of the castles he loved so dearly?

He began by quarrying rocks from the river, when those ran short, he made bricks using cardboard milk containers full of concrete with an old light bulb in the center. Most of what you can see of the castle today was built by Sir Harry.

Knights of the Golden Trail

Boy scout troops have nicknames, and Sir Harry’s troop was “The Knights of the Golden Trail”. Many of the scouts remained honorary Knights when they became too old to be Boy Scouts. The group was formed into a non-profit, and when Sir Harry died in 1981, he left the castle to the organization in his will. Members of the KOGT still maintain, guard, and volunteer at the castle to this day.

Possible Hauntings and the Loveland Frog

loveland42If you think the story of how the castle came to be is weird, then you haven’t heard anything yet!

Sir Harry believed that every castle needed a ghost. He believed that many ghosts would visit the castle from time-to-time, but the one that stayed was named Casper Poltergeist.  Sir Harry told stories of how Casper would deliver an electric-type shock people who made him mad,  and would occasionally knock on the back door when there was fresh snow on the ground, leaving him to wonder who was knocking when there were no tracks in the snow.

Other stories of encounters with the supernatural can be found on the Loveland Castle’s website: http://lovelandcastle.com/ghost.html Ghost tours and overnight stays are available. Contact the Knights for availability and price.

Even more recent than the ghosts of the castle is the Loveland Frog. This cryptid was spotted between the 1950s to the 1970s along the Little Miami River near the castle. Seen wielding a wand that shot sparks by a businessman at 3:30 AM, then 14 years later by 2 separate police officers after they thought it was an animal carcass only to have it scramble away over a guardrail and descend to the river (one officer even shot at it), this elusive creature has been well documented on the internet. It’s always the intention of Pandora Promotions to throw a party cool enough for the Frog Man to come out of hiding and attend. With some of the great costumes our guests wear to Midsummer Masquerade, I wonder if we would even notice if he did! Maybe one has already!

A record of the Frog Men sightings can be found here, and a short film starring one of the Knights of the Golden Trail was made: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1817267/

Current Events

Pandora Promotions has held the Midsummer Masquerade at Chateau Laroche since 2010.  Every Masquerade has been a little different with magicians, music, circus acts, belly dancers, fire performers, costume contests, and of course Aloysius Fox MC’ing the events. The air is full of magic as people mingle and dance the night way in the shadow of a real castle.

Midsummer Masquerade

The Knights of the Golden Trail also host Castle Days every 3rd Saturday from April to August. This is a sort of miniature renaissance festival where you’ll find vendors, performers, and of course guided tours of the castle.  If you’re reading this article before August 16, 2014, you have a chance to come visit from 11 AM to 5 PM. Entertainment includes my troupe, the Pickled Brothers Circus.

Visiting the Castle Other Times

I could write for days about the museum the castle houses, or the wonderful gardens on the grounds. You can visit during regular business hours, 11-5, 7 days a week in the summer, and weekends only in the winter. It is also available for rent for special events.

Visit them online at http://lovelandcastle.com

Flourish 3

Trackbacks & Pings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar