Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ohio's Fall Leaves Trip #1

NE Ohio has some of the most beautiful fall leaves and with an abundance of parks there is no reason not to grab your camera and take some pictures.

(Sorry while I digress and have a “Martha” moment – I like to take photos every year and place the photos in inexpensive frames and place them on my coffee table for a pretty Fall display. You can also take them to your local Office Max, etc and have them laminated in a placemat format. Then place the mats on dining table for a beautiful look – include some fall leaves you collect also in the placemats!)

Okay, back to Ohio’s fall leaves. One of my favorite spots to take photos is Squire's Castle which is located in the North Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metrorparks, Willoughby, Ohio.

Feargus B Squire, founder of the Standard Oil Company purchased 525 acres of land to build an English country estate that would remind him of his home country. Squire’s Castle was built in 1890’s and was to be used as a gatekeeper’s house for the future country estate. But his dream would never come to reality. After the three story gatehouse was built it became his weekend retreat. The gatehouse was said to have had tiffany glass, carved mouldings and elaborate furnishings. The property was later sold in 1922.

In 1925 the Cleveland Metroparks acquired the castle and land. Today, the Castle is open to the public for free. It is nothing more than a shell but still has a certain amount of urban legend mystery to the home. And if nothing else the beauty of this building against the back drop of the fall leaves, makes for some beautiful pictures. Children of all ages enjoy exploring the shell. There are picnic tables nearby if you would like to have a picnic.

As legend has it Rebecca Squire, wife of Feargus purportedly haunts the castle. The story says that she was frightened one night and tripped and broke her neck. The reality is she died in Wickliffe, Ohio in 1929 after the property was sold in 1922. But the urban legend lives on and if you Google Squire’s Castle you are sure to come across some of the many reported ghostly happenings. I for one have never captured an “orb” in any of my photos but you never know???? I think it adds to the whole place – fall, leaves, ghost?

Here are a few directions for the Castle. Take I-90 to Route 91 (Willoughby Exit) to Chardon Road (Route 6) to Chagrin River Road. The castle is on the right-hand side. From I-271, Take the Wilson Mills Road exit. Go east on Wilson Mills Road to Chagrin River Road. Turn left onto Chagrin River Road. Travel 2.3 miles. Entrance to Squire's Castle will be on the left. http://www.clemetparks.com/pdf/Parkways%20to%20Past.pdf

For additional history on Squire’s Castle I like this guide to the History of our local Matroparks:
I would also recommend anyone of our NE Ohio wineries for dinner. Here is a link to Ohio Wines