Henderson Castle

Henderson Castle

Henderson Castle, photo by Kalamazoo Richard.

Richard posted several shots of this Kalamazoo landmark to the new Historic Michigan pool on Flickr. One of his shots is of the Michigan Historic Marker which tells us it was built in a neighborhood designed by Kalamazoo military regalia manufacturer Frank Henderson.

The Kalamazoo Public Library goes into a lot more depth (and has a cool old photo of the castle):

The Queen Anne style house–always called “The Castle” by local residents because of its ornate style and imposing hilltop location–was designed by C. A. Gombert of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and cost $72,000 to build. With seven baths, a thirteen-head shower, an elevator, a third-floor ballroom, and a hot tub on the roof (added later) the 25-room castle exemplifies high society and expensive tastes. The castle’s exterior is made of Lake Superior sandstone and brick, and the interior wood includes mahogany, bird’s eye maple, quartered oak, birch, and sycamore.

Henderson Castle is currently a bed & breakfast (visit Henderson Castle B&B site).

32 thoughts on “Henderson Castle

  1. I SAW THIS HOUSE ON AN HGTV PROGRAM AS FRED, THEN OWNER, DISCUSSED HIS PLANS TO SELL AND MOVE TO BRAZIL.
    IS THE HOUSE STILL AVAILABLE AS A B&B?
    I POSITIVELY GLORY IN SUCH MAGNIFICENT ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR EMBELLISHMENT AND WOULD MAKE A SPECIAL TRIP OUT THERE JUST TO SEE AND STAY IN THIS SPLENDID HOUSE!
    PLEASE ADVISE,
    PAMELA

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  2. God Forbid such a splendid example of architecture be destroyed or even mutilated by the ego of some corporate entity bent on using the shell to impress and the interior gutted or modified for cubicles and offices!

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  3. In the late 70’s I attended Highschool in kalamazoo and one of my friends, Jory Walker, his family owned the Castle. I remember skipping school and hanging out at the castle. I was awed by it and still am. Next time I visit my hometown I will stay there at the B&B>

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  4. I’ve lived in Kazoo my whole life and have to say that I was THRILLED when good ol’ Fred finally sold the castle. He did run it as a B&B for a while, but I really can honestly say that no amount of money would have me stay there, and My inlaws actually booked my husband and I a room there for our honeymoon and we turned it down. The guy ran the place Vegan. Not that I have anything against vegan’s, but come on, don’t force it on others.
    Anyhow,
    The new owners also are running it as a B&B, a normal one. It only has maybe four or five rooms,and they are all themed.
    There was a movie filmed there in the really late 80’s called “Housesitter: the night they saved sigfrieds brain”. Cheesy b movie, and apparently has never been seen since it premired at the State Theater. Maybe they have it there in a can somewhere.

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  5. My father grew up in this house, and my grandparents owned it until the time I graduated from college. We also lived in the house when I was a child. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the house, do yourself a favor and book a room there. Rare woods, German silver countertops, Italian leaded glass windows and the most gorgeous stained glass window on the first floor landing are just a few of the features that make this house incredible. It would be hard to find more amazing craftsmanship. The house features a ballroom, a place for carrier pidgeons in the basement, and a trap door in the floor….growing up there was a little girl’s dream. One of the many wonderful memories I have of the place, was bringing my fellow choir members from Portage Northern High School there for a Christmas party. It was so elegant. I live in California now, but look forward to bringing my two children back to spend a night or two.

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    1. I love this house. I hope to someday own and maintain it’s beautiful craftsmanship and architectural integrity. I’ve been through, and agree that it is definitely worth the money ot have your chance to see.

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  6. That is super cool Debbie. One of the things that I love about the internet is that it allows for stories to grow. Thanks for sharing!

    Trap door? Very jealous – I always wanted one of those … and a sliding bookcase secret passage.

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  7. Just returned from Klamazoo yesterday. Stayed at this B&B on Friday night, very charming place, sits on the hill top with beautiful landscaped gardens. The new owners are super nice, I will definetly return.

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  8. My husband and I were married at the castle on Feb 14, 2007. We were the first to get married on the grounds. Our ceremony took place in the Miracle Room. We toured the house and it is truly incredible. We stayed in the Dutch Room. It had lights in the floor pattern. They say it is haunted. We experienced lights going on by themselves.
    It was totally worth experiencing the true beauty of this house.

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  9. I played a role in the movie Housesitter and was never able to see the movie I was only 17 yrs old. Do you know how I can see this movie. I am now 36. Thanks

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  10. I worked on the movie Housesitter as an F/X makeup artist. I finally got to see it in the Hitchcook theater inside of Univeral Studios, at a screening for distributers, around 1991. A few years later I got a VHS copy from jim Korlock. I,ve since copied it to DVD-R. If someone involved with the film, like Daphne McLaughlin, in the post from December 7, 2007, were to ask, I could probably make another copy for them.

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    1. Dear Mr. Pogue–
      My husband and I are the new owners of Henderson Castle, and would love to have a couple of dvd’s for guests to enjoy while staying here. Would you be up for contacting me about this? My email is laura@hendersoncastle.com Thank you in advance for this consideration. If you have the chance, visit our website, http://www.hendersoncastle.com, and check out our mission statement; the Castle has a greater purpose now and is impacting people around the world, literally.

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  11. I am sitting here right now watching the HGTV – House Hunters International with Fred. Why would anyone want to move to Buenos Aires… anyways.

    This house is without a doubt one of the finest I have seen. I found their website – http://www.hendersoncastle.com but the pictures on the site does not do it justice. Who owns it now? I don’t think I will ever make it to Kalamazoo, MI but if I do I will have to stop by. I really liked reading about the previous owners experiences.

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  12. Does anyone know more about the trap door in the floor or any other secret passage ways. I have lived in Kalamazoo all 21 years of my life and not until recently have I gotten a chance to see inside of the castle. I was lucky enough to help move some furniture around inside and I heard of rumors that the secret passages exist and would like some helpful hints on where to look. I couldnt even find the controls to the what is now a sauna room, if that tells you how well things are hidden. In order to not spoil it for everyone, if you could send me a message at rarrlikeatiger@hotmail.com with any helpful info.

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  13. Gee Kevin, after being friends for over 26 years, a person would think you’d know how to correctly spell my last name..! LOL

    If anyone wants a copy of “HOUSESITTER,” they’re going to need to get it from Mr. Pogue, himself.

    Belated Happy Birthday, Kev!

    James

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  14. I worked as wardrobe assistant on the film and would love a copy. I really enjoyed the experience, but the script needed work. Nostalgically speaking, I would really like to see it (and Karsten) again.
    Kate

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  15. I was born and raised in Kalamazoo and this home was relatively close to my family’s home. I spent many an afternoon swinging from a rope from a very large tree over the back hill on this property. Those days no one said anything, we were just kids playing. I got the opportunity to go in and look around with my brother on a visit to Kalamazoo in 2007. It was a bed and breakfast and also offered other meetings etc. Very nice historic home, pictures do no not do it justice. Would love to have a family reunion there, as my whole family walked past it on our way to and from school as well.

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  16. My grandmother’s mother was the original owner(the owners who built the castle) of the Henderson Castle (Frank & Mary Henderson) She lived in this house and told me of stories about her playing in the elevator and dancing in the ballroom. Back then they had different names for each room…like the blue room and the gold ballroom. She did tell me that she played in the passageways in the walls..hidden passageways that the servants used because the were to not go through the main part of the house. She loved it there and showed me so many black and white pictures. For most of my life I have been wanting to go there and see a piece of my family’s history. Plus if it’s haunted I would love to know if it’s by my ancestors. I pray to see it with my family some day!

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    1. Hi, Keri:

      I guess we are related somehow. My grandmother was Mary Supple and her grandfather was Frank Henderson. I have all of the family photos and a handwritten note from Frank about the building of the home and would love to share some of these things with you. I find it extremely fascinating and would love to visit the “castle” some day. I was born in Detroit, but moved to NC when my father died and I was only a baby.

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    2. After further review of my records, I see that I am the great-great granddaughter of Frank Henderson and Mary G. Taylor. My great-grandmother was Helen Frances Henderson (11/14/1881 – 1/21/1978) and she married John Robert Supple who then had Mary Christine Supple (my grandmother), who married Earl Pratt and they had a son, Earl Robert Pratt, who was my father. Please contact me, I would love to talk to you!!

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      1. Keri, I’ve been looking through old papers from my grandmother, and found your name, along with your birthday, if it is November 28th. Please contact me at 919-940-0758.

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      2. Dear Elizabeth – I am the grandson of Frances Henderson Supple. I got my first name from the “Taylor” portion of the family. I was looking up Henderson Castle on the web for kicks and saw the comments on this site. Keri Semple is my cousin. I saw that you now live in North Carolina, and so do I! I am in Greenville. Should you like to talk, e-mail me at crinoid1970@gmail.com or 252-917-0648

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  17. Dear Keri & Elizabeth,
    Our group is doing a video documentary with Peter and Laura (the current owners of the castle) and if you have pictures, letters and stories I would love to talk to you and interview you for our documentary. I also have some information that you would be VERY interested in that I would love to share with you. Please contact me at dfairie@gmail.com at your earliest convenience.

    **Also, anyone looking for a copy of the movie Housesitter – we were just talking about that very movie tonight and I may be able to get access to copies. If you are interested in getting a copy, please email me at the above address.

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  18. recently saw “house hunters international” and former owner fred royce indicated that the house was for sale while he was shopping for a condo in buenos aires. just read it was auctioned off. does anyone know what it sold for? royce wanted to sell it for a million.

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  19. To all those connected to Henderson family:
    My husband and I are the new proprietors and are interested in doing a documentary on the house, the family, and its stories. Please contact me if you’d like to talk further. Should you be in town over the holidays, we’re going to be open every day in December this year. (And no, the website pictures don’t do it justice…you have to experience it.) My email is laura@hendersoncastle.com if you’d like to write or call 269.344.1827.

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  20. Laura,

    I was walking up to the castle around dusk and I saw a man standing with elbows bent, hands on his hips facing the trees behind the greek pillared style gazebo near the trees. As I walked closer the man disappeared. He was wearing a white long sleeve puffy shirt and slacks. I know it was a ghost.

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  21. My wife and i stayed here one night we had dinner and a couples massages. The dinner was good, but over priced. The meal was not worth the 48 dollars per person. We both have had dinners in the 30 dollar range per person that was a lot better. The castle needs some improvments. The rooms were nice, I do have some complaints, for the high cost of the room, there were no comfortable chairs and the bed was the worst bed I have ever slept in. The tv in the room was small and the air conditioning was less than adequate. The staff were great, but for the money, the service could have been better. Overall I would give this place a 6 out of 10 rating. Vast improvments are needed in the room comfort area.

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  22. Some articles online say there have been three movies featuring this house. One is “In the Woods.” Another is mentioned here in the comments, “Housesitter: The Night They Saved Sigfried’s Brain.”
    Any ideas what the third one is?

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