Friday, August 20, 2010

Warden Castle (Ripley's Believe It or Not!) - St. Augustine, Florida

The original Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum(R) in St. Augustine, Florida, is a landmark in and of itself. The unique chain of quirky and fun museums spread out from here. But the one in St. Augustine is even more special because of its location, the beautifully designed and supposedly haunted Warden Castle.

During the years after the Civil War, many of the nation's wealthiest families looked to the Southern coast as locations for winter homes. It was during this era that the Millionaire Village grew on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Just down the coast, the historic old city of St. Augustine also attracted the attention of some the country' 19th century rich and famous.

Among these was William G. Warden, a business partner of John D. Rockefeller. Adopting St. Augustine as his winter home, Warden built the Warden Castle there in 1887. Massive in scale and designed in a unique Moorish Revival Style, the huge home hosted many of the nation's most elite business leaders and their families during winter visits to St. Augustine. It remained in the hands of the Warden family until the 1930s.

Warden Castle later became a hotel and was even one of the homes of famed novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. It is also the focus of a number of St. Augustine's best known ghost stories.

To learn more about the unique and historic structure, please visit

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