Harry Andrews, born April 5, 1890 served as a combat medic in WW1. In 1918, he contracted spinal meningitis so severe that the hospital declared him dead. Thankfully he was not, and recovered from his bout of the deadly disease. The doctors were able to use his blood as a serum to fight the meningitis outbreak and save hundreds of soldiers lives.
One of the things that Harry brought back with him after serving in the Army was a love and fascination of castles.
Not only did he basically single handedly create the Chateau LaRoche (Harry was a master stone mason) he also founded the Knight of the Golden Trail.
The Knights are still an active organization to this day. Harry Andrews passed away April 16, 1981 at the age of 91. He passed the castle on to the Knights, who protect the castle and the grounds.
There is more to the Harry Andrews story, and I highly recommend that you find the Mysteries of the Castle documentary about Harry and his masterpiece, Chateau LaRoche!
It is hard to believe that someone, on their own, even being a master stone mason could put together the structure you see in the images above. It is a testament to the power of the human spirit, determination can accomplish.
When you first pull into the parking lot, you see the castle from the side courtyard. To fully appreciate the architecture, walk down along the service road in front or over to the small park on the other side of the road to get the best views.
A minor admission fee of $5 per person gets you the run of the grounds. Upon entering the side door, one of the Knights of the Golden Trail will give you a brief history of Chateau LaRoche and the builder, Harry Andrews. They mention that one of the side chambers has a video running about the castle and Mr. Andrews. Please – take the time to watch the video. It is well worth it as it will give you a better appreciation of not only the architecture but of the man who built it.
We were honestly in awe of just about everything about the castle. The stone work is magnificent and the grounds a site in and among itself.