Cleveholm Manor - Redstone, CO
On the West slope of Colorado lies a spectacular 42-room Tudor-style “hunting lodge”. Nestled against the beautiful aspens, stunning red rock formations and the blue Crystal River, John C. Osgood located his coal mining town, Redstone. Osgood, one of the 10 industrialist Robber Barons in the U.S., wanted to try a social experiment: if miners and their families were treated fairly (such as being paid in cash rather than company currency), had a company store with fair prices and were provided decent housing accommodations (84 homes for married men and the Redstone Inn for bachelor miners), would they be more productive? Today, this seems to be a simple answer for most of us, but in that timeframe, for the railroad and coal magnate, the idea was revolutionary!
Tucked in at the top of town was Osgood’s hunting lodge, Cleveholm. This spectacular beauty features imported Italian Marble fireplaces, Tiffany light fixtures, red velvet wallpaper for the dining room and even leather wallpaper etched in gold leaf for the spectacular library.
Osgood spent little time here, but entertained when he did. Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and even Theodore Roosevelt visited Cleveholm. Married three times, the home was built while he was married to his second wife, Alma, and catered to her tastes. Ironically, it was a John D. Rockefeller who brought the social experiment in Redstone to a close. Rockefeller executed a hostile stock takeover of Colorado Fuel & Iron which cost Osgood control of the company. As Osgood struggled to regain his fortunes he had no time for social experiments and his visits to Redstone became infrequent.
Osgood returned to Redstone in 1925 with his third wife, Lucille, and following a diagnosis of terminal cancer, lived out his remaining days at Cleveholm. He died there on January 3rd, 1926 and his ashes were spread in the Crystal River valley below.
This spectacular building and town draws visitors from far and near and its’ ghostly tales only further to enhance the image. I first became aware of the ghostly tales as a child. My parents had spent their honeymoon alone at the castle. They checked out early after strange happenings and chose to finish out their honeymoon in a hotel in town. They claimed of hearing ghostly moaning from a locked room behind the game room as well as heard chains rattling and other noises. We spent each summer vacationing in Redstone and always hoped to be able to get into the Cleveholm. It happened once.
Cleveholm’s long string of owners have a history for trying to use it as a resort but it has not always been open to the public. In fact, access to the the castle is currently restricted to guided tours. It was during one of these guided tours that I was able to capture a picture of a shadow figure standing on the basement stairs. I’ve since been back several times to see if I can document the sounds my parents heard, smell the cigar smoke or flowers that are well documented or to see if I can capture something else.
Though the tour staff is ok with the use of basic paranormal equipment such as a digital recorder and K-2 during the tours, they maintain that the past and new owners are not willing to consider opening Cleveholm to full-blown paranormal investigation.
Regardless, every person who loves history, architecture, beauty or the paranormal should visit this amazing hunting-lodge. A visit here is like stepping back in time to the age where Robber Barons ruled industry. As of my last visit, before the late 2016 sale of the property, Cleveholm was frozen in time and if you are lucky you just might get to meet Osgood or experience some of the ghostly occurrences which are so well documented there!