Madame Sherri’s Castle, located in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, is a captivating and mysterious ruin nestled within the enchanting forest of the region. Here’s a glimpse into the history and allure of this intriguing site:
Origins: Madame Antoinette Sherri, a flamboyant and eccentric costume designer from New York City, commissioned the construction of her “castle” in the 1920s. The structure served as a summer retreat for Madame Sherri and her entourage, providing a whimsical escape from urban life.
Architectural Style: The castle, while not an actual fortress, exudes an aura of fantasy and grandeur. It features elements of French chateau architecture, with ornate balconies, arched windows, and turreted towers, creating a picturesque facade that stands in stark contrast to the surrounding wilderness.
Socialite Parties: Madame Sherri’s Castle became known for its extravagant parties and lavish gatherings, attracting artists, musicians, and socialites from New York and beyond. The castle’s opulent interiors, adorned with velvet drapes, crystal chandeliers, and antique furnishings, provided a glamorous backdrop for soirées that lasted long into the night.
Abandonment and Decay: Following Madame Sherri’s financial troubles and eventual departure from the area, the castle fell into disrepair and was left to the mercy of time and the elements. Over the years, the once-grand structure succumbed to decay, with portions of the roof collapsing and the interior becoming overgrown with vegetation.
Legendary Staircase: One of the most iconic features of Madame Sherri’s Castle is the legendary stone staircase, often referred to as the “stairway to nowhere.” This elaborate staircase, adorned with ornamental balustrades and carved stone pillars, ascends gracefully from the forest floor before abruptly ending in mid-air, leading to speculation about its original purpose and significance.
Local Lore and Ghost Stories: Madame Sherri’s Castle has become the subject of local lore and ghost stories, with rumors of paranormal activity and eerie encounters among visitors exploring the ruins. Some claim to have seen apparitions or heard mysterious voices echoing through the forest, adding to the castle’s mystique and allure.
Historic Preservation: In recent years, efforts have been made to preserve and protect Madame Sherri’s Castle as a historic site and cultural landmark. The Friends of Madame Sherri organization, along with local volunteers and preservationists, work tirelessly to maintain the site and raise awareness of its significance.
Madame Sherri’s Castle, with its fascinating history, enchanting ruins, and aura of mystery, continues to captivate visitors and inspire imaginations, inviting exploration and contemplation of its storied past and enduring legacy in the forests of Chesterfield, New Hampshire.