1890’s Abandoned Squire’s Castle Ohio: Castle in Cleveland

Squire's Castle Ohio

Squire’s Castle is a masonry structure that is located in the Cleveland Metroparks nature preserve district of Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

SQUIRE’S CASTLE in the CHAGRIN VALLEY of CINCINNATI is a false name. It is actually the gatehouse of the castle that was never constructed.

Squire's Castle Ohio
Squire’s Castle/ Author: E Photos – CC BY 2.0

History of Squire’s Castle

Feargus O’Conner Bowden Squire whom was born February 12th, 1850 at Bow, a village in the Devon town of Bow and owned his entire property.

His family moved into America. U.s. of America when the age of 10 and settled in Cleveland.

Squire’s Castle lies on River Road in Willoughby Hills and is part of Cleveland Metroparks’ North Chagrin Reservation. The castle is kept in good condition and is a stunning piece of Cleveland the past.

Squire's Castle Ohio
Squire’s castle hearth/ Author: Tim Evanson – CC BY-SA 2.0

Squire quit school at an early age and started working in a mill for paper. In a short time, Squire decided to quit and find work elsewhere that he could work in the Alexander, Scofield, and Company oil refinery.

Feargus B. Squire was a brilliant young man who quickly rose up the ranks. He began his career as an employee in the refinery, but soon became a bookkeeper.

Squire's Castle Ohio
Squire’s Castle/ Author: sunsets_for_you – CC BY-SA 2.0

Squire then founded his own business, Newman, Squire and Co. which was the first company in America to bring petroleum directly to your doorstep. It was acquired from the Standard Oil Company in 1876.

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Squire's Castle Ohio

Squire was employed by Standard Oil as an export inspector at their port on the Hudson River in New Jersey.

He also served as an executive officer at Standard Oil, managing a number of its subsidiaries and was later was a trustee.

Squire's Castle Ohio

Squire purchased a 525-acre parcel that was forest in the year 1890. He gave it the name of River Farm Estate and intended to construct an English Nation manor house as an honor to his English ancestral ancestors. The project began in 1895 with the building of the gatekeeper’s residence and designed it using his Romanesque Revival style.

The gatehouse was a castellated structure that took two years to build. Despite its stunning location it was basic, lacking running water, electricity and sewers, nor natural gas.

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Abandoned Squire's Castle Ohio

Because of the difficulty in getting construction materials and labor, Squire was forced to quit his plans for an extravagant English mansion. The daughter of Squire’s was able to use the gatekeeper’s home for a retreat on weekends for a number of years.

Abandoned Squire's Castle Ohio

But, his wife did not like the home so Squire was not a frequent visitor particularly following 1908.

He decided to eventually let the home, along with the remainder of the estate in 1922. The newly-acquired owners declared bankruptcy shortly after buying it. The property was confiscated by the lender.

Abandoned Squire's Castle Ohio

Following the acquisition of the land by Cleveland Metroparks

The original castle was three stories high with basement. The current castle is just the exterior shell. The basement is now filled after the fixtures, doors as well as the glass and woodwork were removed. In spite of the modifications made to the structure Squire’s Castle is still an impressive historical landmark.

It was also the very first (and the only) structure built, featuring three floors, a basement and even a room to store Squire’s exotic hunting trophies.

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Rebecca is the wife of the Squire is described as being the motive behind the rest of building the castle. The legend says that she was unhappy in her rural home with insomnia and frequent walks at night.

She noticed a strange motion in the room where the trophy was displayed one night , and then, in a state of panic she fell down the stairs and fractured her neck. Her death was a tragedy for her husband and he was never able to return to the castle that he eventually sold.

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Squire’s Castle in Present

Locals continue to eagerly recount the story of the castle’s haunting. There is a legend that Mrs Squire’s ghost continues to wander the castle’s grounds in the evenings with her lamp on, crying and screaming in pain, frightening anyone who walks out after dark.

Abandoned Squire's Castle Ohio

The reality, however, is very different. Mrs. Squire died of a stroke in 1929 in her residence in Wickcliffe however, Squire’s Castle remains in use for those who want to know whether the legends are actually true.

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