So, as I mentioned today I visited Hammond Castle, created by a man named John Hammond. The Wikipedia tells me that Mr. Hammond was the inventor of the remote control and that he got his first fortune the old fashioned way — he inherited it. Well, Mr. Hammond also turned out to be a pretty decent inventor. Without him, I’d have to walk six feet right now and turn the Roku box back on and then sit back down and keep writing this entry. For that, I thank you Mr. Hammond.
Now, let’s talk about his home and laboratory at Hammond Castle, where the aforementioned Renaissance Faire I attended was held today. I love visiting old houses and America is full of these half European concoctions created by wealthy Gilded Age millionaires. I once visited a home called Lyndhurst in Westchester that was full of just rooms ripped out of the homes of European aristocrats for dimes and put into the house, created by another insanely rich man named Jay Gould, a railroad scoundrel robber baron from the Gilded Age.
Hammond Castle kind of reminded me of Lyndhurt, but it was much, much, much weirder. I was expecting this stately home with all of these giant rooms, in the same style as Breakers or Marble House in Newport, but Hammond Castle wasn’t like that at all. You walked into something that looked like a chapel, that was then attached to a Venetian palazzo like courtyard where it was that it was said Mr. Hammond had once made it rain. That courtyard on one side had a Gothic entry and on the other side (no joke) a life sized nude statue of Mr. Hammond portrayed as a Roman (or Greek) god.
No, no, no, we are so not done yet. There were several staircases that were narrow enough to fit one human that lead you around to all sorts of tiny rooms. One room was circular library full of false doors and another was a red bedroom with an authentic, gothic mattress filled with horse hair (or something) that when you touched was as a hard as a rock. Oh and that room (according to our EXTREMELY COLORFUL) tour guide was a place where 12 ghosts had been found by a ghost hunting show.