Monday, November 7, 2011

A castle of dreams

It stands, a monument of time and days gone by, a deteriorating reminder of love, loss and tragedy. 
Built for his family in 1909 by the West Virginia transplant John Brisben Walker, it was meant to be a haven, a treasury of laughter and vivacity that would call the family back to it's hearth in times of trouble.  
 With stunning vistas of Red Rocks and the high plains on one side
 and the stalwart Rocky mountains on the other, it is no wonder that the entrepreneur chose this spot for his private domain.  
Sadly, the castle walls had not time to settle before Walker's wife and partner was taken from his side, leaving him bereft on his mountain aerie.  
 A couple of years later, the goddess Fortuna visited them once more, dashing what was left of the would-be king's hopes for the future on Mt. Falcon. Lightning struck the home and broke what was left of the man's grief-stricken heart.      
Packing up his four motherless children, he abandoned the charred remains of the hideaway and extinguished his plans to build a summer home for the President on the neighboring high point. Having lost another fortune and with WWI darkening the horizon, he left Colorado for the last time. And though his successful ventures had given him the means to build his dream home on Morrison Mountain, John Walker lost his golden touch and died penniless at age 83.
  The foundation of the house still remains, beckoning hikers of all ilk who wish to behold the stone tribute. Fortunately not all of the businessman's schemes were reduced to ash. It was because of his vision that the Denver Mountain Park system was established and it was his land purchases that founded Jefferson County Open Space which has given pleasure to so many Denver & Jefferson County Residents.
   Canopied by azure skies, you will find a quiet dignity dwells in the broken walls and tumbling chimneys. 
And if you pause to lend ear...  

  the whooping of children playing amidst the trees, the call of a mother to come in for supper and the echo of a father's footsteps descending from his observatory can almost be heard by those willing to listen. 


  1. Wow - fabulous shots of an amazing place. I can hear the kids playing down the halls of history in your lovely description!

  2. Such a sad place and yet it brings joy to so many.

  3. A bitter-sweet story for sure. Beautiful photos.

  4. Even were it still standing, I wouldn't want to live there. Give me a modern apartment or condo in a modern city with new fixtures, sub-zero appliances, television, cafes within a walking distance and warm weather and that's my heaven.

  5. That is just so tragic! But for a guy who lost so much early on, he lived to a ripe old age! I feel so sad for him though!

    It should have been a lovely life!

  6. LadyFi: Thanks!

    Delores: It is a sad story. I wondered if the descendants have visited this place and what they think.

    Bish: Thanks!

    Michael: I wouldn't want to live there either -too secluded and it would be hard to get back and forth in winter. But it is a beautiful spot and he had rich guests all the time with plenty of money (when he built it) to put in the latest conveniences. He even had a race track on the property!

    Trish: I feel sorry for him too in a way although it feels a bit like feeling sorry for a gambling addict. But of course his vision for parks and open space in Colorado is much appreciated!

  7. What a place that is! It's truly a place of dreams.

    A Faraway View

  8. Wow, that is a beautiful spot. Neat old ruin, too.

  9. Aw, this is sad but lovely. Thank you for sharing a great story and such wonderful pictures, my dear! Hope you're enjoying your long holiday weekend! x


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