Join us at Castle Farms of Charlevoix on Wednesday, Sept. 16th, from 6-10pm as we open the Castle gates for our final Twilight Tour and Farm-to-Table Dinner of the 2015 season.
This exclusive opportunity offers you a chance to privately experience the magnificence of one of Michigan’s top historic attractions, while touring and dining at a beautiful castle during twilight hours.
Your Twilight Tour and Farm-To-Table evening features a private guided tour of this beautiful property, followed by a delicious four-course gourmet dining experience. Begin your evening at 6pm by gathering with other guests in the Castle’s Media Room for a special 10 minute historical film presentation on the Castle’s history, its four owners, and their unique visions for the property.
As the sun begins its slow journey toward nightfall, you’ll stroll the grounds and Castle buildings escorted by a knowledgeable tour guide. Various exhibits and collections are showcased throughout the rooms, including antique toys, chess sets, castles, and royalty memorabilia from around the world. The Castle’s Outdoor Model Railroad (largest in the State of Michigan) features more than 70 G-scale engines steaming over more than ½ mile of track.
The gardens of Castle Farms, with manicured lawns, seasonal flowers and formal fountains, rival any of their counterparts found in Europe. The Castle, lit in a soft evening glow, provides photographers with the perfect opportunity for breathtaking photos.
Following your Twilight Tour, you’ll be escorted to the intimate Queen’s Tavern, located directly next to the historic Queen’s Courtyard, where you’ll be treated to a delicious four-course Farm-To-Table dinner prepared just for you.
Celebrating nature’s bounty is the central theme behind the Farm-to-Table dinner, which is catered exclusively by a local caterer. Only the freshest ingredients are used, grown and harvested for your meal. Dinner, which begins at 8pm, features dishes made from healthy organic foods provided by area farmers, and wines produced by Northern Michigan vineyards. Prior to each course, the caterer explains the specific dish, how it was created, and the ingredients involved. Served family style, the Farm-to-Table Dinner features appetizers, salad, two main entrées (your choice of fish or chicken/pork), plus a delicious dessert.
Dinner concludes at approximately 10pm. By evening’s end, the moon will have made its appearance, framed against the grandeur of the great stone walls. Previous guests taking the Twilight Tour have shared their enthusiasm and thorough enjoyment of this special summer offer. The first Twilight Tour, held in 2012, was hosted for only two people. But over the years, the Castle’s Twilight Tours have grown in popularity.
Former guests who return for a second (or third) Twilight Tour continually mention how much they enjoy the exclusive opportunity to have the Castle to themselves. Being the only people on property, Twilight Tour guests are free to roam the grounds and bask in the glow of a brilliant evening sunset.
Farm-To-Table Dinners, a new feature for 2015 Twilight Tours, made this combo a truly Enchanted Evening Experience.
This unique opportunity to visit The Castle at night will not come around again this summer. Tour space is limited, and reservations are required.
Twilight Tour and Farm-To-Table Dinner tickets are $50 per person.
To make your reservations and/or questions about Castle Twilight Tours and Farm-To-Table Dinner, phone Charlynn McBee at Castle Farms, (231) 237-0884, ext. 224, today.
Built in 1918, the Castle was originally designed from the architecture of castles found throughout France. Albert Loeb, President of Sears & Roebuck, was the Castle’s original owner (Loeb Farms, 1918-1927). The Castle was constructed as a model dairy farm for prize winning cows, and to showcase farm equipment available in the Sears Catalog.
Following Mr. Loeb’s death in 1924, the family kept the farm going for another three years. But the Great Depression of the late 1920’s spelled The End for the agricultural venue, and Loeb Farms was abandoned.
Thirty years later, the massive stone walls caught the attention of an artisan named John VanHaver. Dreaming of a Renaissance castle which would serve as an artists’ Mecca, he purchased the property and began restoration. But Mr. VanHaver’s dream was short-lived. By 1969, his venture had failed, and the property once again changed hands.
Arthur and Erwina Reibel became the third owners, and renamed it Castle Farms Summer Music Theater. An outdoor concert site was created, featuring a fifty-foot wide covered steel stage in the spot where cows once grazed. Castle Farms quickly became known as a premier venue for hosting rock concerts.
During the next twenty years, high energy acts such as Aerosmith, Tina Turner, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, and Led Zepplin performed at the Castle. But the death of the heavy metal rock music era ushered in a death knell for the great stone walls. Eventually the Castle fell into a state of disrepair. Following Mr. Reibel’s death in 1999, the property again was put up for sale.
Linda Mueller and her husband Richard had just returned from a European vacation when she learned the Castle was for sale. An art historian from Gulfport, Mississippi, Linda’s travels throughout Europe had served to rekindle the passion for castles she’d developed as a child.
On January 4, 2001, Linda became the fourth owner of Castle Farms. It wasn’t much of a dream castle, save for Linda’s vision. Deterioration had set in and the property suffered from neglect. The dairy barns and silos were roofless, the fieldstone walls were crumbling, and the horse barn roof was near collapse. But Linda was determined to do everything she could to rescue the Castle for future generations.
Contractors throughout Michigan were hired to help save the architectural treasure. Whenever possible, old-fashioned methods were used. By 2005, the restoration was complete. Linda’s foresight in maintaining the integrity of the magnificent stone walls has resulted in a world class property of historic significance.
Take this opportunity to join us for a tour of this spectacular place and enjoy the last of this summer’s bounty.
To make your reservations for Castle Twilight Tours and Farm-To-Table Dinner on September 16th, phone Charlynn McBee at Castle Farms, (231) 237-0884, ext. 224, today.