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Every Bride Deserves a Castle

After all, what better way to feel like a princess who has won her prince than by exchanging vows and celebrating in a real life castle? Castles are romantic, fantastical, and unique. And, while in days of old they served a more practical purpose—a fortified stronghold to protect the inhabitants, to ward off plundering hordes, or discourage the neighboring warlord—today, when we think of a castle we think of Cinderella, of romance, of fairy tales and dreams-come-true. Castle Farms is the wedding setting of your dreams.

The story behind Castle Farms, however, is not one of medieval knights and kings and queens, but it does hold an important place in Charlevoix's history. Loeb Farms was built in 1918 by Chicagoan Albert Loeb, acting president of Sears, Roebuck, and Co., as a model dairy farm complete with the latest Sears, Roebuck equipment. Ninety employees took care of the fields, gardens, orchards, 13 pair of Belgian draft horses, and 200 head of prize-winning Holstein-Friesian cows. In the 1920's, Loeb Farms was the largest employer in Charlevoix County.

But why put cows in a castle, you might ask? Loeb, a world traveler, was especially taken with the architecture of Normandy, France, and the design of Loeb Farms was closely modeled after a farm that Loeb had seen in the French countryside. The buildings were fashioned in the Romanesque style of architecture, with towers, dormers, cupolas, rounded arches and windows, and massive soaring ceilings with exposed beams, much of it fashioned from the native fieldstone of the Charlevoix area. But, Loeb Farms was a short-lived: in 1924 Alfred Loeb died, the farm closed, and the majestic buildings began their slow decline, exposed to the elements and seemingly forgotten over the next four decades. Forgotten, but, as it turned out, not unnoticed. In 1966 the castle housed a working artist's studio and gallery; in the 70's and through the early nineties it was a showcase for some of the best musical groups of the time—The Beach Boys, Doobie Brothers, Willie Nelson, Moody Blues, Sting, and many more. And then, in 2001, the property was purchased by an individual who truly loved castles and saw the hidden potential in the crumbling architecture. Today, Castle Farms is busy year round with fairs, exhibitions, tours, events, and yes, weddings, many, many weddings. After all, every love story deserves a castle.

Planning your fairytale wedding? Plan to attend the 10th Annual Grand Bridal Expo at Castle Farms on Sunday, October 25, from 10am–3pm with workshops, fashion show, exhibitors, and planning experts. Click here for more. And contact the Convention & Visitor's Bureau or call 800.367.8557 if you need a place to rest after a long day of planning your happily-ever-after.


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