Gillette Castle State Park
Page 2

The furnishings, such as built-in couches, a movable table on tracks, a desk chair on tracks, tilting mirrors, and wooden hand-carved light switches are indications of Gillette's creative genius. In some places red dye was mixed in the mortar around the field stone for an interesting effect. Squares of dyed and woven raffia fiber (from African raffia palm trees) were used on numerous walls. There was even a "sprinkler" system in the house in case of fire, using rain water which drained from the roof into cisterns.

Fireplace in main room Field stone and red mortar in wall of garden room Bedroom wall covering Stairway to third floor The roof from a third floor window The roof from a third floor window

There are Faberge lights and stained glass windows scattered throughout, as well as displays of Gillette's china and serving pieces.

Window going to first floor Faberge ceiling light going to first floor Overhead light in main room Stained glass from his boat 'Aunt Polly' Stained glass window at end of upstairs hall Window on stairway to third floor Display of English china in dining room Display of Irish tea service in dining room Display of personalized dinner napkins Glassware in a third floor room A tea set on the third floor

Besides the main room, the first floor has a dining room, office, garden room, and kitchen.

Dining room table on track wheels and bench Display of china in dining room Desk in downstairs office Garden room off of main room Kitchen dish cabinets The kitchen The kitchen (not original stove)

The second floor has five bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. There are several balconies, some covered and some open.

Gilette's bedroom Sign for Gillette's bedroom Gilette's bedroom Gilette's private bathroom Bedroom called the 'Blue Room', with tilting mirror Private bathroom for guest bedroom View from balcony off of main room A second floor balcony

The third floor includes a library and several rooms that display Gillette's art collection.

The library The library Drawers and seating in the library Actors in the library Some of Gillette's oil painting collection Some of Gillette's oil painting collection Some of Gillette's oil painting collection Some of Gillette's oil painting collection

Gillette's influence also shows outside on the grounds. He had a three-mile long narrow gauge railroad that went all around the property and walking trails throughout. Other outdoor features included a large picnic pavilion, an underground vegetable cellar, a railroad station (Grand Central), and goldfish pond. His house guests included Albert Einstein, former President Calvin Coolidge, actress Helen Hayes, and former Mayor of Tokyo Ozaki Yukio.

The castle grounds The castle grounds The castle grounds View from the third floor balcony Pavilion near the castle Pavilion near the castle Pavilion near the castle The vegetable cellar

After Gillette died in 1937, with no wife or children, his will stated in part:

          "I would consider it more than unfortunate for me... to discover that the stone walls and towers and fireplaces of my home... that my railway line... that my locomotives and cars... that these, and many other things of a like nature, should reveal themselves to me as in the possession of some blithering saphead who had no conception of where he is or with what surrounded."

In 1943, the state of Connecticut purchased the property from the executors of Gillette's will and renamed it Gillette's Castle and Gillette Castle State Park. In 1998, the castle and property began a four-year restoration at a cost of $11 million and it was reopened to the public in 2002. It now receives 100,000 annual visitors who can hike and picnic there.

I hope you've enjoyed visiting the castle. It really is a remarkable place.

The song on this page is Dream a Little Dream of Me.