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Old 09-01-2012, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default Kimball Castle

I was looking at this site called "Penny Postcards" that shows old postcards from any state. I put in several towns from my state and also of course N.H. It was very interesting. In the Lake Winnipesaukee section of N.H. postcards it shows "Kimball Castle". In all the years I've been coming up here I have never heard of it before. Is it still there? Can one visit it?
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:30 PM   #2
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Where have you been?
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyJane View Post
I was looking at this site called "Penny Postcards" that shows old postcards from any state. I put in several towns from my state and also of course N.H. It was very interesting. In the Lake Winnipesaukee section of N.H. postcards it shows "Kimball Castle". In all the years I've been coming up here I have never heard of it before. Is it still there? Can one visit it?
Go up Lockes Hill Road near Glendale. The castle I think is in really bad condition. They used to give inexpensive tours but not sure they still do.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Arrow Kimball Castle

Kimball Castle

Kimball's Castle Winnipesaukee.com's Gallery
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:21 PM   #5
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Go up Lockes Hill Road near Glendale. The castle I think is in really bad condition. They used to give inexpensive tours but not sure they still do.
My GF and I hiked down the backside of Lockes Hill to see where it ended up a few months back...right at the doorstep of the castle. It's in rough shape. It's quite sad actually. I read on a YouTube comment that the people who purchased it tried to turn it into a B&B but the deed in it's current form won't allow it to be converted into any sort of business. Can anyone confirm or deny that?
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
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Interesting......thank you for the responses. Beautiful lake front property. I wonder if it could ever be restored to an Inn or hotel some day. Joe, in answer to your question, I have stayed many times in Meredith, Center Harbor, Moultonboro, Melvin Village and Wolfeboro. Also have been to Sandwich, Weirs, Laconia, Meadowbrook, etc.......just never hear of the Kimball Castle.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:10 PM   #7
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I remember as a kid we could see the castle from the lake. I haven't thought to look but haven't noticed it. Is it still visible from the lake?
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:32 PM   #8
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It is still visible from the lake. We can see the top of it and the guest house roofline when heading past Round Island towards Glendale.

There is no restriction on it to prevent it from being used as a business, in fact it is deeded resort commercial. I did a lot of research on it a few years ago. I was looking at it for the land to use as a residence. The castle is a complete mess, total tear down.

http://www.realesearch.com/displaypr...281&mls=nneren
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:31 AM   #9
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Default Restoration Plan

The folks that purchased the property did have a plan to restore. This is a direct link to that plan. (This is one of the "tabs" in RG's post that was sorta buried in the Kimball Castle website she posted)


http://www.kimballcastle.com/concept.html

I remain surprised that someone or a group of someones ... hasn't done anything with this property. Lot's of big money around the lake, I hope it gets saved and recycled into something.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
It is still visible from the lake. We can see the top of it and the guest house roofline when heading past Round Island towards Glendale.

There is no restriction on it to prevent it from being used as a business, in fact it is deeded resort commercial. I did a lot of research on it a few years ago. I was looking at it for the land to use as a residence. The castle is a complete mess, total tear down.

http://www.realesearch.com/displaypr...281&mls=nneren
As I recall we used to see it going towards Treasure Island. Does that sound right? If so can you still see it from there?
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:57 AM   #11
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Default Belknap point

Tis, it is more or less over the top of the Belknap Pt. Motel, or just to the left of it as viewed from the lake. That would not be very clearly viewed approaching Treasure from Wolfeboro.

To pin it down more, it is between the Scenic View on Rte 11 in Gilford and the Belknap Pt Motel.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:34 AM   #12
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Thanks. I want to look for it from the lake again. I never think to do that anymore and as I said, when we were kids, we always looked for it.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:54 AM   #13
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Default This will help...

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Name:  kimball_castle.jpg
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #14
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Thanks. I am going to try to see it next time we go out that way. I know where Belknap Point Motel is.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:18 PM   #15
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It's for sale

http://www.nneren.com/listing_detail...11284&return=1
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:36 PM   #16
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It has actually been on the market for probably 10 years. I dont recall the exact original listing date but have it somewhere. It has been through a few different offices/agents, one of whom I am close with.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #17
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Default Craigs List

Based on a post back in 2009 by Webbsatwinni, it was listed at 895K back then. Search the forum for Kimball Castle and you'll find it under the 'History, section
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:18 AM   #18
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Saw that they will be tearing the Kimball Castle down. In a post by Lakes Region Arial Photo https://www.facebook.com/aerial.photoNH?ref=stream

Lakes Region Aerial Photo New Hampshire


Sadly the once beautiful Kimball castle in Gilford has deteriorated, and will now be torn down. One can only imagine what it was like in it's heyday.



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Old 04-11-2013, 11:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Saw that they will be tearing the Kimball Castle down. In a post by Lakes Region Arial Photo https://www.facebook.com/aerial.photoNH?ref=stream
I dont have a Facebook account, can you post the info?

Yeah I know... I own a technology company and I don't use Facebook....

We looked at it to purchase a year ago, solely for the lot. The castle needs to come down. Beautiful views up there, but the deed reads like an encyclopedia. You need a law degree to to interpret it.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #20
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Default The Castle

The trust had many chances to save the building, but as Codeman said, the deed is a nightmare. Basically the property was willed to the birds so to speak and the property was originally a wildlife sanctuary.

I've heard around Gilford that the building is no longer structurally sound and need to come down. It is a matter of who is going to pay to do it. More than likely the town of Gilford will be stuck with it.

The town would love to get rid of the property but the deed restrictions need to be revised.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:45 PM   #21
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Default Private property?

So how does one go and take a look at it before it's gone? It sounds like the castle itself is on private property.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #22
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Still, it's very sad it has to be torn down. It is such a part of the history of the area.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:34 PM   #23
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Quote:
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The trust had many chances to save the building, but as Codeman said, the deed is a nightmare. Basically the property was willed to the birds so to speak and the property was originally a wildlife sanctuary.

I've heard around Gilford that the building is no longer structurally sound and need to come down. It is a matter of who is going to pay to do it. More than likely the town of Gilford will be stuck with it.

The town would love to get rid of the property but the deed restrictions need to be revised.
When I looked at it, it was not town owned. It was a private LLC out of Nashua. The town holds a note on it, an agreement that the owner must pay $2-3k (again, going off memory) per year for conservation purposes for a period of 40+/- years. In all, I think it was about $100k.

Structurally sound? Thats an understatement. Every part of it is coming down. The floor is unsafe in a lot of areas, most of the roof is gone, and the second floor is really not accessible (I wouldnt try it). Back when I looked at it, the quote was about $30k to demo it, burying the stone on the property and having the debris hauled.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #24
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Just found the article:

Gilford selectmen OK demolition of Kimball Castle

Published Date
GILFORD — Selectmen voted unanimously to tear down Kimball Castle and the nearby carriage house last night because the code enforcement officer said the buildings were no longer safe.
According to Town Administrator Scott Dunn, the roof of the carriage house has collapsed and the stone walls of the castle have bowed from years of moisture freezing and then thawing.
Dunn told selectmen in the update portion of the meeting that the documents he's reviewed implied it would take millions of dollars to restore and that if it wasn't restored it should be torn down.
Kimball Castle, according to a Website of the same name, was finished in 1899 and took two years to complete. It was built on Lockes Hill, overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee, by Benjamin Ames Kimball, who was the president of the Concord & Montreal Railroad. The site noted that historians often compare it to a German castle located along the Rhine River.
The site says it took $50,000 and 100 Italian stone masons to build the castle with materials from England and Germany that were shipped via Boston to Gilford by railroad.
The castle stayed in the Kimball family until 1960 when the last heir died. Charlotte Kimball stipulated that the property never be used for commercial purposes and left instructions and several hundred thousand dollars to set up and maintain and nature preserve.
The preserve was never created and in 1981 the N.H. Attorney General took control of the building and offered it to the town if they could save the castle and create a preserve.
"In 1990, the town convinced the Attorney General that the best way to carry out the goals of Charlotte Kimball's will was to remove the stipulation against commercial development on the land surrounding the castle and subdivide it off," reads the Kimball Castle site.
"The Town then created the Locke's Hill Nature Preserve on the remaining 260 acres and laid out hiking and skiing trails on it," it continues.
Within the past 10 years, Dunn said the town sold the property to Historic Inns of New England, which in turn sold it to David and Mary Jodoin for $117,500. The town in still being paid annually for the sale.
The 2012 Gilford on-line assessing site lists the owner as Kimball Castle Properties, LLC of Nashua, N.H.
According to selectman's minutes of a non-public session held November 14, 2012, selectmen "extinguished" the public easement upon affirmation of the Kimball Wildlife Committee. Selectmen are the trustees of the Kimball Wildlife Committee.
Dunn said last night he estimated it would cost $25,000 to tear it down and that it was Jodion's property. He also noted the Attorney General still has a vested interest in the property and he would give the letter of decision to him and to the Belknap County Superior Court.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:59 PM   #25
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I think a 2 megawatt 400 ft Wind Turbine would fit perfectly in that spot.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:40 AM   #26
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In today's LDS there is an article that clarifies a few things that were written about Kimball Castle:

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Old 04-12-2013, 01:59 PM   #27
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Default Sad story

With the amount of time, effort and money put into building the castle, it will be demolish for peanuts.

Shortly after the last heir died, the trust had an open house so that folks can see what will go up for auction. I remember all the copper applicances and pipes in the kitchen, the beautiful fireplace, the huge dining room table and the spectacular view from the second floor balcony. The carpentry and furniture were outstanding.

My dad attended the auction, he was surprised how low the bids were, almost a fire sale. Later, what was left everything was practically given away. My uncle gained a beautiful oak bar hutch made in Germany. It had huge mirrors and a granite counter top. He had to disassemble the hutch to move it.

There was a local contractor who tried very hard to convince the trust to grant him a 60 year lease on the castle. He wanted to restore the castle and make it his private residence. I don't know the whole story behind this but the trust refused to allow anyone to live in the castle, despite live in caretakers in the abutting cottage.

The trust failed to secure the building. Several teen parties, vandalism etc practically destroyed the interior.

Several concerned parties tried to secure and or restore the building and could not do so for one reason or the other. It is very sad.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:24 PM   #28
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www.keenecastle.com is all about building a castle way high atop a mountain, made with stone by one guy in nearby Thornton, NH, about 35-miles north of Lake Winnipesaukee. How to build a natural stone-walled castle using stone, cement, and a strong back!

Maybe try clicking on the photo labeled Castle Project History!
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:32 PM   #29
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The below article about Gilford trying to unload the Castle was written in 1990 in the Sun Journal.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...pg=1327,943849
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:11 PM   #30
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Default Here's another aerial

Here's another aerial done by another aerial photographer in the area (his website is www.inoutphotography.com).
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:21 PM   #31
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The first article mentions the selectmen "extinguished" the public easement back in November 2012. I am curious what that means.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:23 PM   #32
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Isn't there a similar "Castle" on Sleepers Island..?? NB
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:37 PM   #33
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....say-hey....maybe Gilford could hire that castle-builder, repair-guy at www.KeeneCastle.com to work repairing their Kimball Castle on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday because his website says that he only does his Keene Castle work on the weekend. So, it could be Keene on the weekends for him to fix www.KimballCastle.com on the weekdays......got-it!

(...suggest you click on the Castle Project History!)

...I am more than a little bit certain that he will be needing some cash to help cover his Thornton property tax on his big-view, mountain-top property.......doncha just know it.....hmmm! Unfortunately for him, the town will not accept rocks or stones for his property tax payments.....too bad!
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:50 PM   #34
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[QUOTE=codeman671;202026]Just found the article:

Gilford selectmen OK demolition of Kimball Castle

Published Date
GILFORD — .............

The castle stayed in the Kimball family until 1960 when the last heir died. Charlotte Kimball stipulated that the property never be used for commercial purposes and left instructions and several hundred thousand dollars to set up and maintain and nature preserve.
The preserve was never created and in 1981 the N.H. Attorney General took control of the building and offered it to the town if they could save the castle and create a preserve.
"In 1990, the town convinced the Attorney General that the best way to carry out the goals of Charlotte Kimball's will was to remove the stipulation against commercial development on the land surrounding the castle and subdivide it off," reads the Kimball Castle site.
"The Town then created the Locke's Hill Nature Preserve on the remaining 260 acres and laid out hiking and skiing trails on it," it continues.
Within the past 10 years, Dunn said the town sold the property...........

(From Post #24)

Where is the Charlotte Kimball "Estate Will"? Stipulations AND several HUNDREDS of Thousands of dollars were left to care for the property?!!!!!? This is political FAILURE at its worst! There must be an accounting history as to how the money was spent or whose pocket it went into! Government can't do a darn thing right, this is pathetic! Am I missing something?

Sorry for the rant.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:19 AM   #35
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Default What I never understood about...

why didn't or hasn't used the resources and expertise of the National Historic Landmarks Act of 1966 to protect this property.

http://www.answers.com/topic/nationa...istoric-places

I'm certainly no expert, and most likely I'm missing something here, but it looks to my untrained mind that this property would fit into the same category of the Shaker Village.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._New_Hampshire

Seems like it would make a wonderful addition to the rich history of the Lakes Region.

Like I said, maybe it's already been explored, but if it has, I can't find any information about an effort to use this vehicle to save the property.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:45 AM   #36
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Default landscaping

In its day the grounds between the castle and the lake was loaded with exotic trees, plants etc. The bypass destroyed many of the features but you can still see what is left if a beautiful stone walk way down to the big pier. A botanist can pick out what remains from the exotic plants. There are a couple of odd trees standing.

On the lake side of the bypass, you can see the walk continues, but it is private property so respect trespass.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:50 AM   #37
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Default More properties

The Dane Estate, aka Belknap College aka Red Hill Inn has also fallen into hard times. I inspected the property last spring and you can see damages in the interior due to a leaky roof. NH Music festival is the current owner.

The Alberg Inn across from Gunstock is another piece of property that is also suffering from water damage. The current owners did a temprary fix of attaching a blue tarp over the leak but the tarp is long gone.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:54 AM   #38
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Fast forward a few years and maybe the Kimball Castle area will look like this:

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Old 04-14-2013, 07:58 AM   #39
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Default Stairs

Quote:
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In its day the grounds between the castle and the lake was loaded with exotic trees, plants etc. The bypass destroyed many of the features but you can still see what is left if a beautiful stone walk way down to the big pier. A botanist can pick out what remains from the exotic plants. There are a couple of odd trees standing.

On the lake side of the bypass, you can see the walk continues, but it is private property so respect trespass.
I remember climbing stairs from Route 11 up to a path which led to the castle back in the late 70's. Is that still accessible?
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:01 AM   #40
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Default Red Hill Inn

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
The Dane Estate, aka Belknap College aka Red Hill Inn has also fallen into hard times. I inspected the property last spring and you can see damages in the interior due to a leaky roof. NH Music festival is the current owner.

The Alberg Inn across from Gunstock is another piece of property that is also suffering from water damage. The current owners did a temprary fix of attaching a blue tarp over the leak but the tarp is long gone.
Sorry to hear about Red Hill Inn. Spent one birthday there in winter, and one summer weekend. The main house was amaaaazing.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:46 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
The Dane Estate, aka Belknap College aka Red Hill Inn has also fallen into hard times. I inspected the property last spring and you can see damages in the interior due to a leaky roof. NH Music festival is the current owner.

The Alberg Inn across from Gunstock is another piece of property that is also suffering from water damage. The current owners did a temprary fix of attaching a blue tarp over the leak but the tarp is long gone.
You are incorrect. The Dane Estate grounds or buildings never became the Red Hill Inn or Belknap College.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:22 AM   #42
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Default From Union Leader

GILFORD - The historic Kimball Castle, which was built at the end of the 19th century by the president of a large railroad company, is now a danger to the public and must be torn down or enclosed by fencing, town officials say.

"The walls are literally in danger of falling down," said Town Administrator Scott Dunn.

The castle, which was built on Lockes Hill on Belknap Point in 1895 by Concord and Montreal Railroad President Benjamin Ames Kimball, is not easily accessible to the public and was never a tourist site, town officials said.

It is listed in town records as a mansion with nearly 4,000 square feet of total living area and had a net assessed value of $311,600 in 2012.

Kimball family members hoped the castle would be preserved and not used for commercial purposes, according to the castle's website.

The town, which owned the castle for a period, created the Locke's Hill Nature Preserve on 260 acres and built hiking and skiing trails on it in the 1990s.

The castle and its remaining land were later sold, and it is now owned by Kimball Castle Properties, LLC of Nashua, according to town records.

Last week Dunn told the selectmen that the town's building inspector has determined that the structure is not safe, and said the owners must remedy the situation, as the castle has been vandalized and has frequent trespassers.

Selectmen agreed, and the owners are being notified of the decision. "It's been neglected, and it's not safe anymore for the people in the town of Gilford," he said.

According to the website, the castle and its property area has a spectacular view of Lake Winnipesaukee. It was built by 100 Italian stone masons with materials from England and Germany.

It took two years and $50,000 to complete the project, according to the site. "Along with incomparable views and acres of landscaped gardens, there are stone walls that weave around the property all the way to the water."

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130415/NEWS07/130419444
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #43
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Default Dane Farm

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Originally Posted by Natt View Post
You are incorrect. The Dane Estate grounds or buildings never became the Red Hill Inn or Belknap College.
That grounds have always been refered to as the Dane Farm. There is even frontage on Squam Lake with a boathouse. The Dane Farm and the Dane Estate are too different families?

A realtor claims a mansion on Dane Road is for sale and is part of the Dane Estate. I was told by locals that the building is fairly recent and was never part of the estate. Do you know about this.

Just inquiring.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:31 PM   #44
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Default Another landmark

The Hathaway House next to DD in Lakeport is another landmark. I believe there is a thread on this forum about this. The local historical society offered to paint the structure and roof repairs. The current owner never return thier calls. The owner presented to the zoning board plans for a mini-mall at that site.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:15 PM   #45
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Default Kimballs Castle

Yes, in fact I had some folks who were interested five or six years ago in buying it. The deed is an issue and the price was too as well as the condition. They had paid about $ 275,000 for it and done nothing with it other than take down trees and they wanted over 1 Million for it then. It would be nice to see someone rebuild it into a home but not at that price.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:54 PM   #46
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Default

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Originally Posted by lagoon View Post
Yes, in fact I had some folks who were interested five or six years ago in buying it. The deed is an issue and the price was too as well as the condition. They had paid about $ 275,000 for it and done nothing with it other than take down trees and they wanted over 1 Million for it then. It would be nice to see someone rebuild it into a home but not at that price.
I believe they did a new well and septic as well, plus some work on the guest cottage. The cottage was rented out for some time.

A resort plan had been done and parties were interested however they really needed direct access from route 11, and this came with a seven figure price tag to make it happen. This was another deterrent on top of the seven figure price tag for the property at that time. At one point it was listed over $2mil.

I am close with the realtor involved at that time.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:45 PM   #47
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Default Pic Of Castle

Found this picture for sale on Amazon of the castle... Pretty impressive!
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