Chateau Laroche
(Loveland Castle)

12025 Shore Drive

Loveland, Ohio 45240


June 3, 2001

Cincinnati, Ohio, is where I was not only born but raised for most of my adult life. Each year, Bob and I come back to the Cincinnati area in order to take care of several personal matters, not the least of which are Doctors appointments for both of us. We also try to see our children and grandchildren, and our many friends who are still in the area. Since we are so busy doing all of this we generally don't get much time to write any stories in the area. However, this year I decided that one of the things I would like to write a story about was the Loveland Castle. Loveland Castle is the name the locals have given to this strange building. The name the builder gave it is Chateau Laroche which means Rock Castle. Having written about different kinds of castles all over North America I wanted to immortalize the Castle in my very own home town. I remembered my father taking me there as a small child and having the man who was building the castle giving us a tour. Unlike several of the castles we have visited, Loveland Castle was not built for love, either realized or unrequited, unless you want to say it was built for love of his fellow man. The builder was a man by the name of Harry D. Andrews. He originally bought the land in 1927, although additional lots have been added since so that now it sits on about and acre and a half. The lots were purchased in order that Mr. Andrews' Sunday School class of young men might have a place to camp, fish, swim and boat. At first the boys slept in tents but after about 3 years the tents became so badly decayed that they were not much good. Mr. Andrews told the boys if they would fetch stones, he would build them a "stone tent". He made two small rooms, which are now the bottoms of the two towers facing the river. These rooms were only used for a couple of years before the depression came along; and no one came to the castle regularly for more than three years. After the depression relaxed a bit and Mr. Andrews could afford it, he returned to the job of really constructing a Castle. Most of the construction of the Castle was done by filling wax milk cartons with concrete. However, there are several other building materials used, such as: local rocks and bits and pieces of glass. Occasionally visitors and friends would attempt to help him out by carrying stones, bringing milk cartons and even mixing some mortar. However, Mr. Andrews completed more than 99% of all the work by himself. During WWII there were times that he could not work because of gasoline rationing and lack of cement. In fact, during the first twenty-five years he averaged only a little more than an hour a week on the structure. Of course, no castle is complete without its knight (or knights). I just couldn't resist having my picture taken next to "a knight in shining armor". After teaching Sunday School for about thirty years, Mr. Andrews gave up that part of his activities, and began to concentrate on finishing the Castle. In Mr. AndrewsMay, 1955, he retired from his job and came to camp at the Castle while he worked on completing it. The Castle includes many nooks and crannies including a dungeon. When one looks at a building project such as this it is hard not to ask the question: How much was spent on the building? Surprisingly only a little more than $12,000.00. However, this does not include the cost of the more than 23,000 hours of hard labor. The Castle averages about 30,000 visitors a year. In addition to the Castle there is a lovely garden outside that features many flowers native to the greater Cincinnati area. Before Mr. Andrews' death a group was formed called the Knights of the Golden Trail for the express purpose of caring for the Castle after his death. Mr. Andrews died in April of 1981 and the Knights have taken over not only showing visitors through the Castle but also seeing to its maintenance and repair. From what I saw on my most recent visit, I'm sure that Mr. Andrews left the Castle in most capable hands. Check out their website for more information

Good Luck! Have Fun! and Stay Safe!