History of Loveland Castle:
"Chateau Laroche was built as an expression and reminder of the simple strength and rugged grandeur of the mighty men who lived when Knighthood was in flower. It was their knightly zeal for honor, valor and manly purity that lifted mankind out of the moral midnight of the dark ages, and started it towards a gray dawn of human hope."
Harry Andrews' labor of love, Chateau Laroche is a medieval castle replica found along the bank of the Little Miami River. Built of bricks, cement blocks made from milk carton molds and a lot of stone from the river, it took over 50 years to complete. It took 2,600 sacks of cement, 32,000 quart milk cartons for concrete bricks and 56,000 pail-fulls of stone. The materials cost him $12,000.00 dollars.
Besides the castle, Harry built a road down to the castle, flattened and leveled off the land around the castle so he could plant an orchard and a garden, put in a drainage system, dug a moat and a dungeon that was so well built that it was deemed the safest bomb shelter in Ohio!
Its English and French Normandy medieval architecture, as well as Harry's enthusiasm for the medieval culture centered around the Knighthood was inspired by Harry Andrews' experiences in Europe during and after WW1. Harry Andrews was a medic on the front lines. When he saved an Earl's son' life, Harry was knighted.
During the war, Harry became very ill with Meningitis, and was thought dead. His girlfriend married someone else. 6 months later, Harry completely recovered and focused his passion off of women and onto castles, and fixated on the culture and ideals embraced by the knights of old.
After the war, Harry toured Europe and soaked in the castles in England and France. He finally came home to Ohio, and settled in Loveland, taking a job with a newspaper and getting involved with his church's boy scout troop.
This endeavor of creating this castle began in 1927, when Harry bought some land in Loveland where his troop could go camping and fishing. After 2 years, their tents were in bad shape, so Harry built two stone tents, which would be the future foundations of two of the towers. This project started out as a hobby in 1929, with the idea of building something that his boy scout troop could benefit from; a meeting place for "The Knights of the Golden Trail".
For 25 years, Harry worked on his Castle and related projects part time. In 1955, he retired and began in earnest to work on his castle full time. As the boy scouts had been using the castle all these years, Harry willed his castle to his boy scout organization, "The Knights of the Golden Trail". This group of men have restored and done the upkeep on the castle, run the museum, run the activities, host the weddings and parties held there, and are very active in the boy scout program, called OverKnights, a most popular scouting activity, offering opportunities for campfires, skills in sword fighting, storytelling, etc.