The interesting Squire’s Castle’s history begins with its name, which is slightly incorrect. It is actually a building shell found in North Chagrin Reservation, which has an enormous grass field that is ideal for picnicking, located at Cleveland Metroparks.
Where It Started
Fergus Squire, who resided at Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, worked as an executive in Standard Oil Company. He relocated to a Victorian property in Wickliffe’s Millionaire Row at Cobblestone Garth. After Christmas of 1976, Fergus wed the love of his life, Louisa Christiana Braymaier.
Squire acquired a massive forested land at eastern Cleveland in 1890, where it was then known as the River Farm Estate. He envisioned it to be an English country property where a manor house is built. Five years later, he began making a gatekeeper’s home in the Romanesque Revival design, and it took two years to finish the said construction project. Both English and German castles were the inspirations of the structure.
The rustic building didn’t have much gas, electricity, and running water. It was erected using Euclid blue sandstone quarried just within the vicinity. There were two levels and a basement. Sadly, at present, the only area open to the public is the ground floor.
Back when it was newly constructed, it had a couple of bedrooms, a huge kitchen, living rooms, and a porch for breakfast. All the rooms were covered with white and held exquisite woodwork. The house had leaded glass windows strategically installed to elevate its aesthetics. Furthermore, it has a hunting room that also acted as a library where it held a massive collection of books, trophies, paintings, and stuffed specimens from animals.
Nowadays, families like to visit and have picnics, perform hiking activities or simply have fun with wildflowers. These are all the typical scenarios that manifested a unique castle experience to the visitors. Hence, they keep on coming back to the place. For others, this is where they go when they want to daydream, explore and reflect on those moments that went so fast.
The Abandoned Castle
The Squires had a hard time procuring materials and labor. So, Fergus and his daughter made it their weekend country property, which was also where they stayed most of their summer in 1903. But his wife didn’t love the gatehouse, and so they later abandoned it in 1908.
Following his retirement from Standard Oil, the Squires no longer frequented the place because they traveled a lot and toured Europe. A couple of years later, Squire was elected as Wickliffe’s mayor and put up the estate market. It was immediately sold to developers, which eventually filed for bankruptcy in 1922
The Scary Part
The building in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, was perceived as spooky. According to its legend, Louisa tried to investigate it when he woke up one stormy night. She was surprised by the stuffed heads of the dead animals in the trophy room when the intense lightning brightened it up. Due to that shocking incident, Louisa fell and broke her neck.
The phantom went to linger in the castle. But the story about Mrs. Squire that she died at the property was a hoax. Her death happened at Cobblestone Garth in 1927.