Castle in the Clouds: A Photo Tour

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    Falls of Song

    Falls of Song at Castle in the Clouds - NH Waterfall Picture
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour As you drive the two-mile, uphill approach road to Castle in the Clouds, be sure to park a quarter-mile up and embark on the two-hundred-yard hike to Falls of Song. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    NH Estate is a Visually Stunning Place to Spend a Day

    If I won the lottery and could buy any New England property, it would be Castle in the Clouds, the spectacular, 5,500-acre estate built in 1914 in Moultonborough, New Hampshire, by eccentric industrialist Thomas Plant. Not only is the home architecturally fascinating, its location high in the Ossipee Mountains affords stunning views of shimmering, island-sprinkled Lake Winnepesaukee. Each time I've visited Castle in the Clouds, I've been moved by Plant's riches to rags story and enchanted by this captivating setting.

    Luckily, when the Castle Springs water bottling company put Castle in the Clouds on the block in 2001, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust did hit the jackpot: More than 2,000 donors contributed to ensure this wondrous landmark would remain forever preserved and open to the public (mid-May through late October). I'll provide you with a glimpse of this treasure in these photos, but nothing compares to touring the...MORE castle, hiking the grounds and dining at the Carriage House Cafe.

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    A Splendid Sight

    Waterfall at Castle in the Clouds in NH - Falls of Song
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Falls of Song, a 50-foot natural waterfall, makes for a splendid sight at the end of a short hike. It's just the first of many scenic marvels you'll behold on a visit to Castle in the Clouds. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Sparkle and Sound

    Falls of Song Close-Up Photo - Falls of Song at Castle in the Clouds
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour As Shannon Brook tumbles over a jagged cliff, it creates this dazzling cascade that is as mesmerizing to hear—gently and continually whooshing—as it is to behold, sparkling in the summer sun. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Trolley to the Mountaintop

    Castle in the Clouds - Trolley Takes Visitors to Thomas Plant's Mountaintop Castle
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Visitors to Castle in the Clouds park near the Castle Gift Shop and walk to the property's former Carriage House, now home to the Carriage House Cafe, where they board trolleys bound for Thomas Plant's mountaintop castle abode. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    An Impressive Abode

    Castle in the Clouds Picture
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour It took 1,000 talented craftsmen more than a year to build this stone home for original owner Thomas Plant. The castle was a wedding gift for Olivia Dewey. The married Plant met his young bride, 24 years his junior, while traveling in France in 1912. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Fit for a Millionaire

    Thomas Plant Millionaire Owner of Castle in the Clouds
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour A Maine native, Thomas Plant left home at 14 to seek his fortune. He owned his first shoe company by the age of 27. At the time he began construction of Castle in the Clouds, his fortune was estimated at $21 million: the equivalent of $1 billion today. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    An Architectural Gem

    Castle in the Clouds - Architectural Gem Designed by J. Williams Beal & Sons
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Designed by Boston architects J. Williams Beal & Sons, Castle in the Clouds and its carriage house were built with granite quarried from the property and hand cut by Italian masons at a rate of roughly three stones each per day. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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  • 08 of 23

    Retirement Home

    Castle in the Clouds - Industrialist Thomas Plant's Retirement Home
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour When Thomas Plant retired to New Hampshire at age 51, his Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, factory was the world's largest producer of women's shoes with 5,200 workers producing 3 million pairs annually. And, it was only one of five shoe factories he owned. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Lucknow

    Lucknow - Photo of Lucknow Better Known as Castle in the Clouds
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Thomas and Olive Plant named their mountaintop hideaway Lucknow. Olive's poem, Lucknow, asserts that with so many pleasures available, at the end of the day, guests would all surely agree: 'I'm in Luck Now at last.'. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Step Inside the Castle

    Castle in the Clouds - Tours and Scavenger Hunt for Children
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Self-guided tours of Castle in the Clouds are available mid-May through late October. A wonderful scavenger hunt for children encourages young visitors to look for specific items and details as they explore this extraordinary New Hampshire residence. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Period Costume

    Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour - Thomas Plant's Office and Suit of Armor
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour The suit of armor in Mr. Plant's office isn't just apropos castle decor. The shoe tycoon is believed to have worn the suit to a costume party. Look at it closely, and you'll detect that Plant was not a very tall man. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Plant's Secret Hiding Place

    Secret Room at Castle in the Clouds
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour You were right. Thomas Plant was only 5 feet tall. His second wife, Olive, was 6 feet tall. Mr. Plant could easily duck through the short door to this secret room off the library, confident his Mrs. would not be able to invade his private space. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    A Powerful Instrument

    Photo of Aeolian Pipe Organ at Castle in the Clouds NH
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour The Aeolian pipe organ in the main hall at Castle in the Clouds could be played manually or automatically via player scrolls. Boaters on Lake Winnipesaukee below could hear its thunderous strains whenever it was played. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    An Artistic Dining Room

    Castle in the Clouds Dining Room Picture
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour The octagonal dining room at Castle in the Clouds features an intricate painted ceiling. The castle's mostly original furnishings include many pieces custom-made for the Plants by Irving & Casson-A.H. Davenport, Boston's leading furniture makers. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Cool Gadgets

    Brine Refrigerator at Castle in the Clouds Moultonborough NH
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Built at a cost of $7 million in 1913-14, Lucknow (later renamed Castle in the Clouds) featured unheard of conveniences including a central vacuum system, a self-cleaning oven and this brine refrigerator. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Innovative Refrigeration

    Photo of Brine Refrigerator at Castle in the Clouds in New Hampshire
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour The brine refrigerator in the butler's pantry was chilled by an innovative saltwater system in the basement. It's stocked to appear as though the Plants might at any time return to the castle home they cherished. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Wonder and Amaze

    Castle in the Clouds - Guest Room Photo
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour This photo is of the castle's first-floor guest room. 'Guests who enter to this dwelling, Stand in wonder and amaze," wrote Olive Plant in her poem. 'For such a view as is unfolded, Ne'er before has met their gaze.'. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Needle Shower

    Needle Shower in Guest Bathroom at Castle in the Clouds NH
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Bathrooms in Thomas Plant's castle, such as this one in the guest room, were outfitted with Needle surround showers—a plumbing device that was complex for the turn of the 20th century. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    High Style

    Castle in the Clouds Photo - Vintage Clothing in Guest Room
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Castle in the Clouds' heyday was short-lived. Thomas Plant bought Russian bonds... just before the 1917 Russian Revolution. He invested in Cuban sugar futures... then a hurricane destroyed the crop. He lost more in the 1929 stock market crash. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    The Master Bedroom

    Castle in the Clouds - Master Bedroom Photo View of Lake Winnipesaukee
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Castle in the Clouds' master bedroom has spectacular views of Lake Winnipesaukee. Sadly, when the bedroom's balcony was destroyed in a hurricane, the Plants couldn't afford to repair it. Their fortunes had been irrecoverably reversed. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    A Sad End to a Grand Reign

    Lucknow Mansion Photo
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour By 1940, Lucknow was in foreclosure. During the summer of 1941, three days after being notified his estate would be auctioned, Thomas Plant died at age 82. He was so destitute, friends chipped in for his burial expenses. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    Patio Dining

    Castle in the Clouds Castle Cafe Restaurant Outdoor Patio Dining
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour Once you've toured Castle in the Clouds, linger over lunch, dinner or snacks and drinks at Carriage House Cafe in the Carriage House. A bistro-style menu is available for indoor or outdoor dining. Coveted seats on the patio overlook Lake Winnipesaukee. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

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    A $7 Million View

    Lake Winnipesaukee Aerial Photo from Castle in the Clouds
    ••• Castle in the Clouds Photo Tour The view Thomas Plant paid millions to own is yours for the price of admission ($16 in 2014) to Castle in the Clouds. As you gaze out over Lake Winnipesaukee from the Cafe, appreciate the fact that this gorgeous sight can never again be taken away. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're visiting New Hampshire's Lakes Region, don't miss Castle in the Clouds: a fascinating and stunningly picturesque place to spend a day.

    Tour Another New England Castle: Gillette Castle