COLORADO'S GILDED AGE CASTLE - REDSTONE, CO
On the beautiful Western slope of Colorado lies a spectacular and haunted 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 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, but in that time, for the railroad and coal magnate, the idea was revolutionary!
Tucked in at the top of town was Osgood’s hunting lodge, Cleveholm Manor. 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 the Cleveholm. Osgood married three times and 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, heard chains rattling and were freaked out. We spent each summer vacationing in Redstone and always hoped to be able to get into the Cleveholm. It only happened once.
Cleveholm’s string of owners have a long history for trying to use it as a resort but it has not always been open to the public. In fact, there is currently no access to the castle while it is renovated. When there were still guided tours 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 what other paranormal evidence I can gather.
Cleveholm is currently scheduled to reopen to the public as an upscale hotel sometime in the Spring or Summer of 2018.
Regardless, every person who loves history, architecture, beauty or the paranormal should visit this amazing hunting-lodge. New ownership plans to open the castle to overnight guests again, sometime in 2018, and 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!