The Berkeley Springs Castle
Hoping to impress seventeen-year-old Rosa Pelham, Samuel Taylor Suit constructed this elaborate castle in 1885. Suit was fifty-five years old at the time, and did not live to see the completion of the castle where Pelham later lived alone with the son she conceived with Suit prior to his death. Suit had a variety of careers under the stock market, distilling, stock management, railroads, and even politics. He was a very wealthy businessman, who also fought in the Civil War. Suit served in the Maryland Senate from 1873-1877, and also was the ambassador to England. After the Civil War Suit purchased huge amounts of land in Maryland, and that soon became his own town holding the name of Suitland. Suit owned a business as well in Suitland that sold brandies and whiskey, he was a fun, loving person according to sources. Samuel Suit's first wife passed away while giving birth to his first son. He soon got married again, and had a second child, a girl.
Backstory and Context
German masons were hired to work on the castle, and they completed the work in 1891. The castle was then a reality, each stone hand cut. Unfortunately, Suit did not get to live to see the completed work. He left in his will that in order for his wife to keep the castle, she had to finish the work. So Rosa finished the castle, and got to keep her inheritance from her husband. She soon began to start throwing lavish parties, where hundreds of people attended in the Berkeley Springs Castle. People then started to expect that Rosa killed her husband Samuel Suit, but that rumor soon went away with the wind, and she continued to throw her parties in the beautiful castle. She soon ran short of her high life style when her funds were depleted by the time she reached the age of 50. Her children had gone their separate ways, she was alone with an occasional visitor. She then unwelcomed her visitors to her castle, and would throw rocks at anyone who came near her home. She started to go insane, and Rosa eventually lost the castle.
The castle was up for sale at a public auction in 1909 and was purchased. She then moved to Idaho with her son after her stay at the castle was shortly over. Since that time the castle has been made into many things.From 1938 to 1954 Dr. Ward Keesecker used the castle for a summer camp for boys. Soon after in 1954, Walter Bird bought the extravagant home and turned it in to a museum for the public in which remained until 1999, then the castle's contents were sold. Soon, Andrew Gosline purchased the castle and brought it back to life by replicating the castle into times of Samuel and Rosa Suit. The castle is no longer open for tours, unfortunately, but is available for weddings, private corporation events, and fundraisers. This gorgeous castle was built from local stone, and has thirteen large rooms along with a basement dungeon. The hardwood flooring and stone fireplaces at each end of the Great Hall will take you right back to the times of Rosa Pelham. On the second floor of the castle, there is a paneled library, along with a staircase that leads to the rooftops of the parts of the castle. The balconies of the castle overlook Berkeley Springs giving an absolutely beautiful view of the town. Locals say that the castle holds ghostly activity, and people have seen four different ghosts including Rosa, Suit, a boyfriend of Rosa's, and a young girl. A gorgeous castle in the middle of a breath taking part of the state of West Virginia, what could be better?
History Berkeley Castle. Berkeley Springs Castle A West Virginia and National Historic Site. Accessed 10/01/2017. http://berkeleyspringscastle.org/castle/history.html?.
Tales of History & Haunting at The Berkeley Castle. Weekend Adventures Magazine.1999. Accessed 10/01/2017. http://www.wamonline.com/fall1999/berkeleycastle.htm.