Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Field Trip To Remember

In the misted of a small New England town tucked away in the forest lies the ruins of Madame Sherri's Castle.


Madame Sherri, was born in Paris France her name was Antoinette De Lilas, she was a music hall singer in Paris when she met, fell in love and married Andre Riela a silent film actor, theatrical producer, also a son of an Italian Diplomat in New York City.

Andre and Antoinette sailed back to New York City, but after a very cold reception, in 1911 they changed there name to Sherri, then became theatrical costume designers opening a shop in New York City making a good living. In 1924 Andre passed away,

Madame Sherri now in her 50's took a trip to Chesterfield N.H. to visit with a friend Jack Henderson, she liked it there so much she purchased a small farm with some 500 acres of land. Madame then built the most extravagant summer castle like home anyone had ever seen, to host wild lavish party's, bring her friends from New York City, filling the forest with music and laughter. It was said there was scandalous things going on there by some of the town folk, like Madame Sherri driving through town with only her fur coat on.

 Madame Sherri continued to party until she was broke, in the late 50's she moved in to Maple Rest Nursing Home in Brattleboro VT.  On Oct. 18th 1962 the castle burned down leaving only, the stone remains' of a architectural masterpiece.    Madame Sherri died in 1965 at the age of 84 and was laid to rest in Meeting House Mill Cemetery, in Brattleboro VT.

At some point Ann Stokes bought the property and generously donated this land for conservation to the Society For The Preservation Of N.H.  Come and view the ruins of the castle, bring your hiking shoe's there are hiking trails here, some more strenuous than others but worth it for some of the views. As a homeschool family we sure love the freedom of sharing and finding lost history that was not in the text books. This was a field trip a good friend of mine and a fellow homeschooler shared with our lovely daughters. The girls refer to this as the Madame Sherri's Enchanted Forest field trip.