Heritage Museum Trail – Castle in the Clouds
by Roberta Wells, Hotel Concord Class of 2019
Today I went with my husband and some friends to Castle In The Clouds. In the northern end of the Lakes Region sitting at 1300 foot elevation on the Ossipee Mountain Caldera in Moultonborough, NH, you will find the Arts & Crafts style mansion of Thomas Plant, known as Castle In The Clouds. This was Mr. Plant’s retirement home which he built with his wife Olive, after selling out his shoe manufacturing empire. They called their estate “Lucknow.” The mansion was built in 1914 and Thomas Plant lived there until his death in 1941. His was a rags to riches story that you can read about in the book “The Shoemaker’s Castle.”
The mansion is owned and operated by the Castle Preservation Society which continues to restore and refurbish the estate. For the past year they have offered basement tours that show the inner workings of a home that was ahead of its time in many ways, from having its own hydro electric plant, an ammonia brine refrigeration system, and central vac. So even if you have visited in the past you have the opportunity to see and learn something new if you return. And of course the view is still amazing. While you are in the area, you should also stop into the Old Country Store & Museum on Rt 25 (Whittier Hwy). It is a step back in time both young and old will enjoy.