If I were to tell you that in the middle of the forest on the New Hampshire/Vermont state lines, off of a dirt road that winds around waterfalls and wildflowers- there were the stone remnants of an extravagant home that was once used for the most lavish parties for the New England theater community- you might think I was in the beginnings of an elaborate ghost story or a fairytale.
But the stone remnants are real, as is the long and winding road that leads to it. Madame Sherri’s Castle, built in the late 1920s- was the home for renowned New York costume designer and dancer Antoinette Bramare- who later changed her last name to Sherri after her marriage to attract new business for her designs. Described as eccentric, and even scandalous at times- Madame Sherri used the property to host over-the-top, ridiculously expensive parties for her friends and artists that were the talk of the town.
And although the money and good luck gradually ran out after WWII (Madame Sherri eventually died penniless in a Vermont nursing home in the 1960s after squandering her fortune,) and a fire destroyed most of the home around the same time- a hauntingly beautiful stone staircase and a portion of the home’s original foundation remain intact- simply sitting in the middle of the forest.
I made it my mission to find the “castle,” as it’s called- during one of my social distancing outings earlier this week, and after a little driving through Brattleboro and a little hiking through Chesterfield- there it was in all it’s haunting glory.
To enlarge the photos, simply click on them!
I’m thinking a return trip will need to happen to this location come the Fall- because the foliage is going to look absolutely beautiful as a backdrop to those stone steps. I can see it already.