This month: Restoration of the "porte cochere" is complete! The holiday program returns. Gillette's indoor garden is getting a lot of love right now, and a photo essay from the Celebration of East Haddam. Plus, our museum spotlight on some of Gillette's library holdings, and we introduce the ultra-hip production of "Sherlock's Secret Life" by boots on the ground theater.

Accomplishments and happenings

  • We had a blast at the Celebration of East Haddam on September 4. We had loads of fun chats with visitors about their experience with the Castle, and made a number of important local connections. Plus, we watched skydiving and a Coast Guard rescue, and had a visit from a suffragette in Victorian garb (a.k.a. Kandie Carle of the East Haddam Stage Company). Check it all out in our photo essay here.
  • The conservatory is getting a facelift, thanks to Samantha Van Jeune of Chester and East Haddam Garden Club president Jamie Burgess of Haddam. They are adding loads of new period-appropriate plants, and re-potting and rejuvenating many of the existing plants as well. Visitors to the Castle already can see a big difference to the look and feel of the area. We hope to have additional gardening projects (outdoors) this spring. Drop a line to if you are interested in helping out.

  • The holiday program is back! We are kicking off the work to ensure the Castle is festive for the holidays! Former president Wendy Vincent is leading the charge. We'll share more details as we have them. If you are really keen, you can make your reservations for the Castle tours through the Reserve America system (weekends only Nov. 26-Dec 19).
The "porte cochere" restoration is complete!
Photograph courtesy of Tom Kochie, and boots on the ground theater.
 We congratulate boots on the ground theater for the successful launch of "Sherlock's Secret Life". This play is "filled with mystery, intrigue, romance, a healthy dose of hilarity and a shocking ending that can make even those die hard Sherlock Holmes fans gasp out loud."

We understand that Sherlock in this production is a wee bit "edgier" than the Sherlock embodied by William Gillette, but we suspect that both William Gillette and Arthur Conan Doyle would be pleased to see the continuing evolution of this fascinating character.
Museum Spotlight
Land survey reports of the transcontinental railroad
During his lifetime, William Gillette amassed a collection of 1,182 books. His interests covered fiction and many genres of nonfiction. Most of the books were his. Others belonged to either his father, Francis, or Yukitaka Osaki. Roughly half of his collection is on display in the Castle with many of the remaining books secured in various archive collections. Keen-eyed visitors to the Castle may notice a series of books on the bottom shelf in the library. These were official documents from Francis Gillette’s time in the U.S. Senate (1854-1855). The books are land-survey reports of the transcontinental railroad. We know what a railfan William Gillette was, so it is not hard to imagine why he may have wanted to hang on to those.
Sherlock shout-out. Sherlock is thrilled to welcome new members Clinton W. and Gail H.