Thursday, February 23, 2006

New England Leather

Are you familiar with Thomas (?) Plant who built the "Castle in the Clouds" overlooking Lake Winnepeasauki in New Hampshire? He was a New England shoe magnate they say there on the tour. He owned a number of leather concerns. It's said he lost his money when the hurricane hit Cuba, wiping out the whole sugar cane crop he had invested in, apparently with advice from his friend Theodore Roosevelt. There is not a nail in the "castle" in the Ossipee Mountains (former volcano, perfect ring dike structure, 6X as high as Mt. Everest they think blew 10X Mt. St. Helens in the geological past, in a eco-inventory recently a mountain lion or puma was perhaps found) with its distinctive orange roof and five-sided stones made by imported Italian laborers. He had a suit of armor made for him (about 5 feet high) and a torch made by Tiffany (electric) lights the stairway near the armor. I think his ex-wife was painted by Klimt and the place had all the "modern" conveniences. It was for sale once bought by a North Carolina firm that markets the purest water ever tested, to hotels, and now is also a micro-brewery. It has successfully been put into a trust by investors in the environs so that it may stay, where it once was a carriage ride around and atop the Ossipee Park on the way to the more popular White Mountains (after the Plant financial collapse, I guess someone had that idea) it's now a refuge of sorts, the bottler staying in its smaller compound. Interesting place. Winnepeasauki is said to mean "Smile of the Great Spirit". There are live pumas in the Science Center in Holderness where "On Golden Pond" was filmed.

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