The focal point of Marietta's historic district, The Castle has been the home of some of the area's most prominent and influential citizens.
In 1842, "The hill up Fourth Street was almost impassable. Few teams tried it. On the brow of this hill dwelt Nathaniel Clark, the potter. He made milk pans, jugs, and jars. Above his house there was a large orchard where picnics were held. There were no wagon tracks, only a grassy lane." His house appeared on the 1845 Emerson map of Marietta.
In 1855, this choice, hill-top property was purchased by Melvin C. Clarke for $2,000 and construction on The Castle was soon begun. Clarke, prominent Attorney and abolitionist, was appointed Marietta's first city solicitor in 1854 and represented the third ward on a committee to consider gas lighting for the city in 1856.
Clarke did not call The Castle "home" for long. In 1858, he sold the property to John Newton, Esq. of the Marietta Bucket Factory, "a gentleman of means and taste, as well as an excellent businessman. It is one of the most beautiful locations and finest buildings in the city, and when the grounds are adorned as designed, it will be a lovely place."
The Castle must have been the site of grand entertainment and business functions during the residence of John Newton, but his stay in paradise was short lived. Newton died, unexpectedly, July 17, 1886. The Castle was sold to E.W. Nye in 1887 for $7,000.
Edward White Nye, born in Marietta in 1812, was the son of one of the original shareholders of the Ohio Company. Nye, the publisher of The Marietta Gazette from 1833 until 1837, died unexpectedly in 1888 leaving The Castle to his only daughter, Lucy Nye Davis.
Lucy had been born in the Colonel Ichabod Nye homestead which stood on the site of Campus Martius. In 1872, she married Theodore F. Davis. They had two daughters -- Jessie and Grace. During the 1880s, Theodore Davis was elected to the State Senate from the 14th Senatorial District in the 68th General Assembly and served as president pro tem.
Jessie was 14 years old when her mother inherited The Castle. That same year, she watched avidly as preparations for Marietta's one hundreth birthday took place. "Mrs. Axline, wife of the adjutant general, stayed with the Davis's while getting things in order for the governor's week-long visit. Tents were set up on the lawn for units of the militia, and the presence of Gov. Foraker's son, Benjamin, caused quite a flurry of excitement among the young women of the town . . ."
In 1896, Jessie married John Lindsay at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Marietta and the reception was held at The Castle. In 1906, her sister Grace married Thomas Greer in the parlor of The Castle. The event was described thus: "For the affair the house was suited in every particular. Seated far back from the street, with a perfect lawn on all sides, trees, vines and flower beds here and there, their color deepened by the falling rain drops, the residence was indeed beautiful to behold. Glimmering electric lights from within gave light on the stone walk which leads to the home and guests numbering about 200 began arriving before 7:30 o'clock..."
Jessie Davis Lindsay was 55 when she became owner of The Castle. It was her home until 5 days before her 100th birthday, February 14, 1974.
On June 1, 1974, L. Stewart Bosley and his sister Dr. Bertlyn Bosley, obtained the deed to The Castle and thus began a renovation project that continued for nearly two decades.
While the general appearance of the structure was not drastically altered, the rear frame section had to be completely rebuilt due to termite damage. Other interior details were modified to provide for their planned residency in The Castle. However, neither ever realized this dream. Bertlyn died in 1989 and Stewart in 1991.
After the death of Stewart Bosley in 1991, The Castle was deeded to the Betsey Mills Corporation April 24, 1992, "as an historical asset for the City of Marietta with such asset to be used for educational and public purposes."
The Castle, now on the National Register of Historic Places, opened to the public in 1994.
Where do I begin? First its not a castle and its barely a mansion!!! Carol the tour guide could have had the tour over in 30 minutes tops but instead the tour was 2 hours because she didnt know how to stop talking!! Nobody needs to know where every piece of furniture comes from if it has no history to the house... Then she would ask us adults questions and when nobody would ask she'd stand there not moving forward with the tour until you did ask... We walked out backs hurting and feet sore disgusted. Worst castle not castle tour ever dont waste your money!
The Castle was wonderful! Our tour guide was knowledgeable and very entertaining! She held the attention of our group of children. The pass time games were so much fun! It was a great field trip and one we will do again!
The castle is beautiful and the tours are interesting and we'll paced. Definitely go again.
Amazing woodwork and even better history behind the property. Take the tour if you make it to marietta! No photography allowed inside home.
Great view into the past. Great house that they've worked hard to restore and preserve. The docent that guided us through this house was well-informed and very pleasant. Highly recommended.