I received E-Mail that said:
I wrote you an email about a year ago regarding a castle in Idledale, Colorado. It is called Barnes Castle. Unfortunately the owners of the castle died in the Air Egypt Crash. The castle is now up for sale and I was able to scan a copy of one of the sale flyers. The quality is not the best, but it's a bit difficult to take photo's of the castle unless you trespass on the property. The castle is in plain view from a trail that I hike, but it's behind alot of trees and brush, and on the other side of the river.
What I do know is that the Barnes Castle was built in the 30's by an M. Wright, engineer for the water dept in Denver. I always heard that Barnes owned the castle after Wright, but a friend of mine who grew up in the area in the 40's said that there was another brief owner that lived there for a short time before Barnes acquired it.
The castle has a moat around it, a railcar system that went along the property, waterwheel, turrets, a fire breating dragon that hung above the garage area, and so much more. I'm in awe everytime I see it. I understand the price is around 2 1/2 million.
p.s. from what I hear, the castle is haunted...I know some people that have been in there and experienced some strange happenings. I tend to believe them...I pick up on strange things just from being outside of it, but that's another story...and that's the story that actually got me interested in the castle in the first place.
Later, I received E-Mail that said in part:
We do have photos and lots of stories. However, there were no ghosts or supernatural things going on there. Mr. Barnes was an inventor and he made the dragon that sits on top of the building. The Marcus family lived there between the Wrights and the Barnes. The Wright estate was selling it for $500,000.00.
I would love to have it for a bed and breakfast, but Lee had checked into it back then and you had to have another road and they wouldn't let him put one in due to right of ways, etc. It is quite a neat place. It was heated originally with cal rods in all the floors, but it cost $350.00 a month to heat it back then. The views were spectacular.
Later, I received E-Mail that said:
ON MY LAST TRIP TO COLORADO, I TOOK THE HIKE MENTIONED BY ANOTHER VISITOR. IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE MUCH OF ANYTHING WITH THE TREES, THOUGH IF I GET A CHANCE ON MY NEXT TRIP OUT, I'LL ATTEMPT THE HIKE IN THE WINTERTIME SO THAT THE VIEW WILL IMPROVE...PLEASE LET PEOPLE KNOW THAT YOU CAN'T SEE THE CASTLE MUCH AT ALL IF THE LEAVES ARE ON THE TREES (AND THE DRIVEWAY IS A GATED PRIVATE ENTRANCE, SO THERE'S NO CHANCE THERE...)
Later, I received E-Mail that said:
I recently worked on the lower storage/garage flat roof of the Barnes Castle in Idledale, Colorado and have walked along the tracks that the train had run. The castle has 4 turrets and a beautiful pond. The moat no longer exists. It looks like there never was a moat but a past tense current going through the pond from the nearby river/creek and flowing down a small rock waterway to flow over the waterwheel and power the generators that are no longer in working order.
There is a fallen steel dragon laying on its side that used to spit out fire and the train tracks are overgrown and a little weather worn. The pump room that attaches the water wheel has 3 massive generators that are not in working order. On my first day there I had the sense that there is more to the castle than meets the eye...the castle has secrets to tell and is ominous in its own way. On my return I am wanting to enter inside and take pictures and try to get a better history from Lisa Barnes herself.
Later, I received E-Mail that said:
Here is the picture that I was trying to take while I was working there and was given one opportune moment to do so and promised to acquire as I stated in my previous email to you. The castle is beautiful.
On 6-3-05, I received E-Mail that said:
there, I was looking for information on the Barnes Castle as my grandfather-in-law was mentioning something about it the other day. He knew the people who owned it (the Barnes) personally and spent time in the castle. There definately was NO moat around the castle, just a river that used to go through the water wheel to produce electricity. The river wasn't natural, but dug out specifically for this reason from the existing river.
I can't remember much of the details, he remembers much more; such as the barbeque on an island and the train that ran the property. I was actually trying to see if it was a bed and breakfast now, but none of your pages have dates so I don't know how old your postings are.
On 4-29-07, I received E-Mail that said:
The name of Barnes castle has been changed to Dunafon Castle. http://www.dunafoncastle.com/
On 9-10-07, I received E-Mail that said:
Many years ago while my dad was county road supervisor, he took me to this castle to talk to a man named Fordy White. Mr White and his family lived in the castle and were care takers. this was probably around 1960. I remember an entry way that was paved in small polished stones. I remember going into the round tower and seeing the round bed and beautifull view from this room. I remember going into a sub basement that was below the basement and seeing a full sized door opening up to a circuit breaker panel. Unfortunatly that is all I remember after all these years.
On 11-13-07, I received E-mail that said:
Barnes Castle in Idledale Colorado has been aquired by new owners, and rennovated for use as a commercial endeavor (weddings, meetings, etc..). The new name is Dunafon Castle, and they have an incomplete webiste with lots of pictures over at http://www.dunafoncastle.com and http://www.dunafoncastle.com/NEW/.
On 9-14-13, I received e-mail that said:
I was looking up the Barnes Castle to show it to my grand children. I lived in the Castle in the mid sixties for three months. My uncle rented it the same year as the Denver flood. It did indeed have a railroad that encircled the lakes that provided water to run the generators. The lakes were little more than ponds that were fed from a small flow taken off the the stream that flowed through the property. I believe it was called Bear Creek.
The train was a small guage track affair that was in ill repair when I was there. I gravity rode it a few times but getting it back up to the stone garage where it was housed was a real chore so I didn't do it often. If this garage ever had a firebreathing dragon I never saw it.
The castle had a turret on each corner and balustrades on the roof. The kitchen was just inside the main entrance. It had a breakfast nook in one of the turrets and was served with a dummy waiter that connected to a wine cellar-storage room in what I called the dungeon of the castle. I called it this because one room in the lowest part of the castle had a wooden door just like dungeon doors on t.v.. I used to go down there and moan into the lower opening of the dummy waiter to freak out George, the grounds keeper, and his wife Amanda, who was the cook. They had the bedroom right off the kitchen and I had a lot of fun until my uncle got wise. Maybe this where the ghost stories started. I never saw any apparitions. The story I was told was that the original owners wife had disappeared one night and was never found but I have no way of knowing how true this was.
My bedroom was below the main floor and had windows that looked out over the grounds behind the castle. It was a beautiful setting and the grounds connected with those of the estates upstream which I remember as being part of the Gates Rubber estate.
Back to "Castles of the United States"
A special thanks to Heidi for sending in the first photo, and Kirk Christner for the second.