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Castle History

Construction & General Overview

Built between 1914 through 1919, this 184-acre castle estate nestled along the Connecticut River was originally called "Seventh Sister Castle" by Gillette and those who knew him. The name came from the castle estate's location upon the Seventh Sister, a series of seven hills along the East bank of the river.

A man of many talents and full of creative flair, Gillette designed and oversaw the construction of the castle and also created many of the adornments that can be found within. Wooden light switches, roll-away tables, crafty mirrors, and even secret passageways all designed by Gillette make the home truly into a medieval-style castle from the Old World.

Designed in a medieval gothic architectural style, the outer facade of the structure uses local Connecticut field stone. Several beautiful field stone structures also dot the premisis, including the Grand Central Station.

Archive photo of Gillette Castle circa 1920; CT State Library

Connecticut State Library

As A State Park

In 1943 the State of Connecticut purchased the park from the executors of the Gillette Estate. Over time, important pieces from Gillette's life have been donated to the museum and currently under curation at the Castle.

The Castle underwent a four-year renovation between 1998 and 2002 and reopened to the public in 2002 with a fully restored castle, museum, visitor's center, and picnic area.

In 1992 the original trains that Gillette used as part of his private railroad around the property weere donated back to the state. They were restored during the restoration at the turn of the millenium and are now on display on the visitor's center. Visitors to the park can also visit the center to watch anshort film about Gillette's life and to stop by the gift shop, run by the Friends of Gillette volunteer group, to buy a souvenir of their trip to the Castle.

Gillette Castle State Park Visitor Center
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