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WestSide44

Member Since 12 Apr 2012
Offline Last Active Aug 31 2015 07:40 PM
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#89361 PBY Catalina SeaPlane

Posted by WestSide44 on 09 January 2015 - 02:10 PM

Well, I'm a bit late to this party but stumbled across this thread and was interested. I grew up on Lake Worth, the south side, in the '50's and occasionally saw a PBY land and take off but always on the far north side of the lake Casino Beach. The photo had me really confused because I assumed the anchorage would have been close to the foot of the Ft. Worth Army Air Base (Carswell AFB) runway until I looked at a map of Lake Worth and realized the orientation of the photo as described above is correct. That is Goat Island in the background and, indeed, had the camera been panned a bit more toward the south and east (left), Whiting Castle would have been in the frame. It also means that Casino Beach and the Lake Worth Casino are just to the right foreground of this picture and the Jacksboro Highway is just out of the frame foreground as well. 

 

Regarding the Marine Air Base on Eagle Mountain Lake; my buddies and I used to go to the drag races out there until they shut the whole thing down. 

 

Anyway, interesting bit of history. Thanks.




#86905 Urban legends

Posted by WestSide44 on 27 August 2014 - 07:09 AM

As a teen in the '60's, several friends and I visited Midget Village. As stated, it was located below Rivercrest CC and consisted of a number of small buildings much like a small town. I recall that it was adjacent a dairy farm with a herd of Jersey cows and ice cream made from the rich Jersey milk was available in a little store there. We each purchased cones that day. Three in our group, including me, did not believe in the village's existence until that afternoon. And no, there were no midgets living there.


#86904 Ranch Style Factory

Posted by WestSide44 on 27 August 2014 - 06:51 AM

I remember, as a child in the '50's, passing by that water tower and, with no knowledge to the contrary, thing that where Ranch Style Beans were stored. No idea why I still remember that little misconception.


#86566 Lake Worth Castle

Posted by WestSide44 on 11 August 2014 - 08:30 PM

My father bought "The Castle" in 1954 or 1955 as I recall. I was just going into the 5th grade. The castle had suffered a serious fire a year or two previous and had been partially restored to the extent that a new roof had been installed on the main house. We lived in what was referred to as the guest house on the west side of the castle. We lived there for about 4 years at which point my father sold it and we moved to the other side of Lake Worth. The amount of work necessary to make the castle itself livable was far more than anyone estimated and there was much work left to be done.

There was the large BR upstairs in the turret at the front, an indoor fountain with leaded stained glass windows off the living room to the west. The rounded door to the right if the turret brought you into the fountain room. Two more BRs connected off that room with two bathrooms one if which had a shower with about 6 shower heads. Quite a fixture for it's time.

Off the living room to the east was another room with flagstone floor in the center of which was a large 5 pointed star. Another BR adjoined this room and, as I recall, another bathroom. An outside door took you into a screened in garden which opened to the servants' quarters on the east side. This is the structure with the tall tower.

There was a single BR in the servants quarters and a bathroom. The tower had a small round room at the lower level while the upper level contained a water storage tank. The water well was beneath the tower in sort of a half basement.

Every BR had a fireplace as did the main room in the lower level of the turret; at least 6 in all. There was a basement under the main room with an old boiler in it. Never knew if it was gas or oil fired. The comments about the presence of a tunnel surprise me as my brothers and I roamed all over that place and never saw anything that resembled a tunnel opening. The small stone structure across the road lakeside was empty and had a concrete floor and was far enough from the water's edge that it could hardly be used to surreptitiously move anything from a boat without being easily seen by anyone driving by.

The dock and boat house had to have been spectacular at one time with their red tile roofs. The dock was built of stone with an earthen fill and was sufficient to drive automobiles onto. There was a circular drive from the main road to the dock that no longer appears on Google maps. The drive extended from each main gate, curving toward the dock then back up to the other gate.The boat house did not open to the lake so a boat entered from the shore side; a problematic maneuver when the lake level fell. All of that structure was merely a pile of rubble the last time I saw it.

I'm not sure how much land was part of the estate, 20+ likely, but there was a stable and barn to the south of the castle and at one time a friend if my parents kept a horse there. A subsequent owner of the place installed a swimming pool which appears to be still in place viewing on a Google maps. The driveway circled completely around the main structure with a side road leading back to the stable. I learned to drive on that driveway.

As I said earlier, the place burned in the early '50's making it difficult to believe that Jimmy Stewart had stayed there during the filming if the movie Strategic Air Command. The movie was released in 1955 and we lived there from '54 to about '59 but, as I don't know when the movie scenes at Carswell were filmed,  I guess it's possible Stewart visited. In fact, just thinking about the condition of the place when we lived there, the fire probably had to have occurred maybe 5 years previous. The Castle has burned at least twice more and the last time I drove by, 6 or 7 years ago, it was surrounded by coils of razor wire with security people patrolling the place.

There may be a collection of photographs of the interior in its heyday still in existence and, if one of my brothers has them, I'll see if they can be scanned and uploaded to the forum. Someone with very deep pockets could indeed make it into a delightful B&B. The operative phrase there is "deep pockets". 

 

BTW, in all the years we lived there, I never had a sense that the place was haunted and never heard any stories about anyone dying there.