In today's society of "quick divorces" and relationships that don't last, it's hard to understand a man who would devote his lifetime to a bride who jilted him at the altar, but that's just what Edward Leedskalnin of Latvia did. Ed was born in 1887 in a small country called Latvia, it was at that time a part of "mother Russia" and now is a independent country. Ed was engaged to marry a young lady by the name of Agnes Scuffs who was 10 years younger than he. However, when the time came for the wedding she changed her mind and refused to marry him. When this happened Ed left Latvia. He wandered for several years finally making his way to Canada and then down into California and then into Texas. He worked in lumber camps and was involved in at least one cattle drive in Texas. These types of jobs gave Ed a strength which he later used in cutting and moving blocks of coral weighing many tons. What makes Ed's work remarkable is the fact that he was five feet tall and weighed 100 pounds. At some time in his life he developed tuberculosis. He was told that Southern Florida had a good climate so he came here sometime during the 1918-1920 period. He bought an acre of ground in Florida City, which is 10 miles south of the castle's present location. While in Florida City he started carving the local Coral that he cut himself. He had decided that he would build a castle in dedication to "Sweet Sixteen", the girl who jilted him at the altar. After doing a number of carvings he found out, in 1936, that they were going to build a subdivision near his land so he bought 10 acres at the present site (only 3 acres still remain) and got a friend with a tractor to help him move his carvings on the bed of a old Republic truck chassis. However, no one ever saw him load the carvings or unload them. Settled in his new location he started erecting the walls of his "castle" to help preserve his privacy. One of the strangest things about the Castle is that no one could be found who ever saw him erect any of the walls or carvings. He had an extreme desire for privacy when he did his building and had developed a sixth sense if anyone was watching. Neighbors would claim years later that they would go to bed at night and when they got up in the morning the walls would be in place.
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