State #22 Connecticut

I love the original Christmas in Connecticut movie but we are way too early for Christmas. I’m still excited visiting these states I’ve never been too.

Connecticut is home to the Gillette Castle State Park. It is a pretty little drive in the woods. Peaceful. The Castle was the retirement home of William Gillette, actor, manager, playwright, stage manager, and innovator of sound effects and props, in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He is not part of the Gillette razor family, which I erroneously, assumed and told the family. Hahaha!

The name might not sound familiar to you, either, but I bet you’ll know of one of his greatest characters- Sherlock Holmes. True, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, wrote Sherlock Holmes into existence. But it was William Gillette that gave him the lasting persona we all know of Sherlock today by adding the deerstalker hat, a curved briar pipe, long traveling coat, and adding “elementary my dear, fellow,” which was later changed to “elementary my dear, Watson.” Gillette played Sherlock Holmes for decades. Channeling my inner Paul Harvey, again, “and now you know the rest of the story.”

Gillette’s wife died young and he never remarried. Having no heirs when he died in 1937, his will precluded the property from being owed by any “blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” The state took over the property for $5,000 in 1943.

Named Seven Sisters by Gillette, the home is a 24 room, 14,000 square foot, 3-story plus tower castle, full of puzzle locks and hidden doors that cost over $1 million dollars at the time to build. Contemporary of the Vanderbilts, his home has a markedly different feel. Definitely, a bachelor pad void of feminine touch. Man-castle, for sure.

The park includes walking trails where Gillette’s railroad used to run. It’s a pretty neat stop if you’re in the neighborhood.

We were really exhausted from Boston so we had an early evening. The next day was spent working on some schoolwork, swimming, and just having some down time.

A note about CT-15, I would not travel this road if I were in the camper due to the many low clearance bridges. Too stressful, however, it’s a pretty drive and all the bridges are unique in design. You know I like bridges, so once I noticed the changes in architecture, I started snapping some pics.

Up next headed somewhere where cows, shores, team wear, and Bruce Springsteen all have something in common.

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