Chateau Laroche, or Loveland Castle as it’s more commonly called, is actually a pretty cool place. Built by hand over the course of 50 plus years, pretty much by one man. That’s pretty impressive. In 1927, a man named Harry Andrews bought some land along the Little Miami River in Loveland, to use as a place for his Sunday School class of young men to swim, fish and camp. At first, the boys slept in tents, but after a few years, Harry had the idea to build a few ‘stone tents’ using rocks from the river. Harry, who had a love for the olden days of Knights and castles, then , formed the Knights of the Golden Trail. Basically a Boy Scout troop based on the Ten Commandments and the principles of knighthood. Since all knights need a castle, he took the idea of his stone tents a step further, and on June 5, 1929, Chateau La Roche was begun.
Harry worked on the castle little by little at first, mostly in his free time as a hobby, but when he retired, it became his new full time job. He built it, again, using rocks from the Little Miami. When those became scarce, he started making his own, using milk cartons as molds for the bricks. Claiming to have done 99% of the work himself, he built the castle, a road to the Castle, flattened all the land around it so that he could plant a garden, laid out a drainage system, built a wall along the road, dug a moat and a dungeon! Oh and I forgot to mention that Harry also lived at the castle. Yeah, he was dedicated.
Old Harry kept it up till he was 91 years old, when he caught himself on fire while burning trash, or cooking, or something involving fire…and wound up in the hospital. He died a few weeks later from his injuries. He left the castle to his Knights of the Golden Trail, and of course, they still run and care for it today. Of course, there’s a few ghost stories attached to the place, it probably wouldn’t be on this site otherwise. Harry is said to hang out there, which I guess makes sense considering his lifetime devotion to the place. But then there’s also stories of Knights haunting the castle…like real, dark ages Knights. Guess they got tired of the real castles in Europe they should be haunting. And then there’s the woman in white, who is said to haunt the garden. I don’t know who this woman in white is, but she shows up at a lot of these haunted places. A ghost groupie maybe?
I’ve spent the night at the Loveland Castle on 2 occasions, both times in the middle of winter. While it was a neat place to spend the night, it was freakin’ COLD, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I was there as a guest of The Northern Kentucky Paranormal Society, and we spent the night seeing what we could see, which turned out to be nothing. No Knights, Harry, or woman in white. I didn’t expect to see anything of course, but it was a good excuse to hang out and enjoy Harry’s work.
Take 1-71 north to the Fields Ertel exit. Left off the exit, Then right onto Fields Ertel. Go on up to Rich Rd. and make a right there. Then left onto Mulberry, then right onto Shore Rd.