Couple wants to turn New Hampshire castle into center for weddings, events

In this photo taken Wednesday Aug. 7, 2013 Kimball Castle is seen in Gilford, N.H.
In this photo taken Wednesday Aug. 7, 2013 Kimball Castle is seen in Gilford, N.H. –Jim Cole / AP Photo

GILFORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire couple wants to convert a crumbling castle with views of Lake Winnipesaukee into a place to celebrate weddings and charitable events.

The Laconia Daily Sun reports that Patrick and Melissa Starkey, who bought the Kimball Castle property, also want to turn an innkeeper’s house on the property into a motel.

Their application is scheduled to go before the Gilford Planning Board Monday.

Railroad magnate Benjamin Ames Kimball built the castle in 1894. He left it to his daughter, Charlotte Kimball, who died in 1960. In her will, she donated the land to the Mary Mitchell Humane Society with an endowment to maintain it as a nature preserve.

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The money disappeared, the castle deteriorated and the state eventually took control and offered the property to the town.

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