Castle Park Lodge

Name of Historic Site:  Castle Park Lodge

Description of Historic Site:  In 1894, a German immigrant and Chicago businessman Michael Schwarz built this castle near the shores of Lake Michigan.  Mr. and Mrs. Schwarz along with their six daughters lived in the castle for a year before moving to Holland and abandoning the home.  In 1896 Dr. John Parr a head minister for a Chicago Preparatory School purchased the castle and made into a summer camp for boys and girls of the preparatory school.  The summer camp became so popular that some of the parents of the children decided to build cottages on the property.  Dr. Parr and his wife ran the camp until 1917 when his nephew, Carter Brown, and his wife took over the duties of the camp.  Over the years, Mr. and Mrs. Brown’s children took over managing the camp.  In the 1960s, the camp and grown tremendously, and the taxes and maintenance proved expensive and the camp became Camp Park, a private association.  The association owns the castle and uses it for a community meeting space.  It is also known that author L. Frank Baum had a summer home in nearby Macatawa and it is said that the castle had inspired the castle in the Wizard of Oz.  The castle and property are privately owned by the Castle Park Association.

Address:  6700 Bryant Ave, Holland, MI