Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Famed Roadside Attraction Bishop Castle Gets a Happy Ending

Jim Bishop will soon be king of his castle again.

More than forty years ago, Bishop started building a stone castle in Wetmore, just outside of the San Isabel National Forest, adding rooms, features and height — always height. The castle, which now stands over 160 feet tall, has become a Colorado landmark with its own entry in roadsideamerica.com and many fans.

But while Bishop and his wife, Phoebe, were both battling health problems this winter, David Merrill, a man he considered a friend, talked Jim into making him a trustee of Bishop Castle. And soon, Merrill was claiming that he owned the property and was turning it into Castle Church — for the Redemption, according to the Custer County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

The Bishops got attorneys. They won a restraining order against Merrill, which at least allowed them to access the castle while the case went to court. And now now comes this word from the lawyer, posted on the Bishop Castle Facebook page:
Hurray!!! Just got the court's orders!!! Judgment entered !!! We won it all!! We will record the order in Custer County next week to put title back in your name!!!! Congratulations to all!!!
Adds Valerie Bishop, one of the daughters of Jim and Phoebe:
Thank you to all of our supporters, we finally have a resolution. All will return as was!
Not quite: The Bishops have acquired close to $20,000 in legal costs fighting for their castle, and so this Friday's event at Pike's Peak Harley Davidson in Colorado Springs — originally scheduled as a think tank to brainstorm saving the castle — will now move on to helping figure out how to support the family. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. October 2 at 5867 North Nevada Avenue. For information, call Megan Baldock at 719-278-2300. To make a donation, go to bishopcastle.org.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun