Ann Westerberg first became fascinated by Colorado castles when she spotted one under the 16th Street viaduct. There was a castle sitting in the railroad yard, and I thought that was so odd, she remembers. She began taking notes on some of the other castles she encountered in her travels throughout the state until she had almost enough material to fill a book.
Those notes became Castles of Colorado: Scandals, Hauntings, and Tales of the Past, a mixture of guidebook and history book chronicling the fascinating stories behind twenty Colorado castles. I think it uncovers how incredible people can be when they get together, Westerberg says. The Ice Palace, which really was a castle it had all the accoutrements, and it was crenellated and made like stone -- was built in 36 days by the whole town of Leadville. They were just saving their butts. They all got together, and it changed the tenor of everything; they were in a big depression because of the silver strike.
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Then there are the tales of local hero John Brisbane Walker -- the man behind Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the person who gave the Jesuits land to build Regis University -- and the three castles he built, all of which were rendered uninhabitable by fire. Want to hear more? Stop by the Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover, 9315 Dorchester Street, tonight at 7:30 p.m. when Westerberg signs Castles of Colorado. Visit www.tatteredcover.com or call 303-470-7050 for information.
Sat., July 12, 3 p.m., 2008