Voorhies Castle

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The Voorhies Castle 2001


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Voorhies Castle 1902


Voorhies Castle 2002
The Voorhies Castle is located in the small village of Voorhies, approximately 5 miles south of Bement, Illinois. The castle was built by Nels Larson, a Swedish immigrant, who arrived with little more than pocket change in 1867; who earned enough money to buy the village of Voorhies in 1885; and who went on to build the magnificent castle between 1898 and 1902. Larson later also built a clock tower barn between 1910 and 1915. The clock tower stood 68 feet above the Illinois prairie, until a strong straight-line wind toppled the barn and tower in 1976.
Larson's wife died in the castle in May, 1914, and the ailing widower left the castle that day to move in with one of his grown children. The castle remained unoccupied for 53 years. The children deeded the Castle to the Illinois Pioneer Heritage Center in 1967, but financial difficulties led to a bank forclosure and the property was auctioned into private hands. A series of private owners lived in the castle over the next three decades, but no substantial renovation work was done until 1999, when the current owner undertook the massive project of restoring the castle to its original dignity.





Copyright 2003 The Voorhies Project