Saturday, August 26, 2017

THE CASTLE OF SCHOOL HOUSE HILL

Every now and than you hear of a rumor that just won't die and your left wondering, could there be something to this?  Such was the case with the Castle of Schoolhouse Hill in Bar Harbor, Maine.  For years there had been whispers of just such a castle, from whose grounds you could stand and look out over much of downtown Bar Harbor, yet was hidden by just enough tree's so it remained hidden from the public eye.



The whispers was not posted on some fly-by-night blog on the internet, it was by locals who did not want to go on record.  They would describe the castle in detail, right up to its underground rooms and large stone tower, but when I pressed on and asked, "So you have actually been there, right?"  Sadly, they would smile and reply, nope, not me, but others have, or worse, they would suddenly claim to have a memory loss as to where their information came from.  But enough people knew enough information that you just knew there was something to this castle.
I approached the property one afternoon and quickly came to a no trespassing sign, violators will be arrested.  I approached from a second, than a third way and each time came to the same signs, so perhaps those signs led to the sudden memory loss of so many people.  Than I heard a number of young adults on the island often hike up to the castle grounds tp party and drink there, and I sought some of them out.  One provided a few photos, which I was very thankful for, and asked if he would take a few more photos - his reply was that he thought it might not be a good idea.  He did describe the castle in great detail, and just about everything he told me I had heard from others, so I knew he was being truthful.



A piece was done on Schoolhouse Hill a number of years ago, and it it they said a family owned most of the hill, and had built a huge mansion on top of the hill,  a mansion the locals refer to as The Compound.  Once the mansion was built, for whatever reason, the family decided not to move into it or sell it.  It sets there empty, but locals say it is often visited by a guard who oversees the property.
The newspaper piece spoke of the family constructing a castle like structure where the family entertained guests.  A center piece of the castle was a very large swimming pool in the center of its grounds, but not just any pool.  This one had round windows where you could look into the pool from below water level from one of the castle's underground rooms.  And towering over the pool was huge towering pillars like a scene from old Rome.  And somewhere between the mansion on the hill and the castle is a large artillery gun.
Today a large area of Schoolhouse Hill has been broken up into house lots, but not the section with the mansion and remains of the castle.   I say remains because the rumors today are that the castle is slowly being torn down.  Gone are those towering pillars, gone is the pool with its round below water level windows.  Gone are a number of the rooms and large sections of the castle walls are also coming down.



That said, I have been told that much of three walls of the castle are still up as well as the stone watch tower and the castles underground rooms are still up.  But clearly the castle is slowly coming down, not by large machine but apparently by sledge hammers.  It is sad because I think an entire book could be done on this hill.

This is being posted for historical purposes and the land the castle is on is private property, the owner does not want people on his land.  If you have old photos of this castle and would like to share them for historical purposes, please send them along to me and I will add them to this post.  If you do not want your name used, I will omit it.

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