Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 19, 2015

Day # 16
     Back in the early 1980’s, John Davidson hosted a television show called That’s Incredible!  One of the stories he told was about Edward Leedskalnin (1887-1951), a Latvian American, strange little man who built a stone structure now called Coral Castle.  The story goes that on the night before Edward was to marry his “Sweet Sixteen” in his home country of Latvia, she ran off with someone else.  He moved to America, but came down with allegedly terminal tuberculosis.  He claimed to be healed, and that magnets had some effect on his disease.
     Edward spent more than 28 years building Coral Castle for the woman who jilted him with the hope she would come to America to see it.  It is said he worked mostly at night because he refused to allow anyone to view him while he worked.  If anyone came by, he would charge them 10-cents and then take them on a tour.  Even then, he wouldn’t tell them his secrets.
Chairs made of coral
Ty, Brody, Drew

9-ton gate on ball bearings
that will move with only one finger
     The structure is comprised of numerous stones, mostly limestone from coral, each weighing several tons.  There are many features and carvings in the castle. Among them are a two-story castle tower that served as Leedskalnin's living quarters.  The walls, consisting of 8-foot high pieces of stone, an accurate sundial, a Polaris telescope, an obelisk, a barbecue, a water well, a fountain, celestial stars and planets, and numerous pieces of furniture. The furniture pieces include a heart-shaped table, a table in the shape of Florida, twenty-five rocking chairs, chairs resembling crescent moons, a bathtub, beds and a throne.  The boys had a good time climbing on the furniture.  My favorite thing in the castle yard is the 9 ton, precision-balanced, 8-foot stone that serves as a huge gate.  It will swing around by pushing it with one finger.
     When Leedskalnin became ill in November 1951, he put a sign on the door of the front gate "Going to the Hospital" and took the bus to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.  Leedskalnin suffered a stroke at one point, either before he left for the hospital or at the hospital. He died twenty-eight days later of a kidney infection at the age of 64.
Edward Leedskalnin
flanked by Brody who is doing his
Leedskkalnin imitation
and Drew.
     Online there is a lot more information about the history and building of the castle.  If you are interested, please read more about it.  I’ve found all the info worth the time to read it.
Richard and his baby brother, Ronnie
Coral Castle

Ronnie and his wife Gail
at Coral Castle
Be sure to check again tomorrow night.  I plan to tell you about the interesting and fun places we visited  during our 5 days and nights in the HOT, but exciting Key West, Florida!!  We hated to leave there, but the cheeseburgers in paradise were adding extra pounds to all of us.   And suddenly, it's 5 o'clock somewhere took on a whole new meaning. 
Until next time,


  1. Glo Ferguson was telling me and Pegeen about this place just a couple weeks ago. It looks as amazing as she thought.

  2. I saw this show and was stunned at the building this man accomplished. Thanks for sharing, DJ.