CT: Fairfield County-Danbury-Hearthstone Castle

Crazy eight stone fireplaces named Hearthstone castle.

A New York portrait photographer E. Starr Sanford had this 16 room castle built starting 1895 as his summer retreat for his wife Emma. The stones were acquired on site with a small railroad built to transport it. The interior wood imported from Italy.

Source: New England Historical Society

Emma was not a fan so they sold it in 1902 to a gentleman named Victor Buck. In 1918, Buck sold it to Charles Darling Parks, who bought it as a wedding present for his daughter Irene.

It was then renamed the castle “Hearthstone,” reportedly after the eight stone fireplaces throughout. Irene lived there until she died in 1982. It apparently had the means to produce its own electricity!

In 1985 the city of Danbury purchased the castle as well as Tarrywile Mansion across the street. In 2016, the city approved a plan to convert the long-abandoned castle into a walled garden

Unfortunately it has been heavily vandalized throughout the years. When considering the beauty of Gillette Castle in East Haddam CT (refer to separate blog) it is truly ashamed to see this castle which is almost 20 years older not maintained.

It does however provide a backdrop for your imagination to soar recalling the high society parties that took place over the mountainside view of Danbury through the many stone arches and the plethora of stone fireplaces.

Architecturally interesting but sad to see someone’s home so thoughtfully created in this condition. In between some of the stone work you can even find a dash of brick to add to its character and uniqueness.

The castle is on the National Register of Historic Places. If you’re in the area I would stop by in hopes that you can see a “now and then” when it’s reworked.

Please note the castle is behind a fenced area targeted for construction. I am hoping to see an encouraging change by the restoration by Danbury. It is located at 18 Brushy Hill Road.

The Tarrywile site below has some great history with photos of the interior in its day as well as aerial photos now. It’s future remains uncertain.

Hearthstone Castle

Let’s find some other adventures to post in this just for fun blog to encourage us during these challenging times! Join me! Meanwhile below is the magical experience at Gillette Castle in East Haddam with encouragement to go!


Published by Belinda Sheets

This is a non-promotional blog. I am not a photographer nor am I selling anything through this blog. Professionally I am a Business Transformation Specialist focused on gaining efficiencies and reducing costs for major corporations. Recent life experiences made me better appreciate the present and all that can be seen by increasing my focus and attention on my surroundings. I always enjoyed going out and exercising and I would look but I did not see as my attention was on resolving some problem. Captured through pictures and sharing insights about various locations, I hope others can enjoy my research and insights and allow themselves to pause a few moments and truly appreciate and learn new things. When you follow me that is my only gift. To know I have touched you enough to want to follow the blog. Respectfully (Stay Safe), Belinda Sheets Business Transformation professional with interests in photography, hiking, bicycling and kayaking and learning how to be present.

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