ConlonTT, Wikimedia Commons

Ohio's Loveland Castle Was Hand-Built By a Midwestern Medievalist

ConlonTT, Wikimedia Commons

Located approximately 15 miles northeast of the Cincinnati city limits, Loveland, Ohio, is home to around 12,000 people and one reportedly haunted castle. While the Château Laroche—or Loveland Castle, as the locals call it—has a fascinating heritage, the story behind its creator, Harry Delos Andrews, is equally intriguing.

Born April 5, 1890, Andrews was a medievalist who objected to modern warfare and preferred sword-to-sword combat. As a conscientious objector, Andrews joined the World War I effort as a medic (although he sometimes claimed he was a courier between President Woodrow Wilson and General John Pershing). But, at the beginning of his military career, he contracted cerebrospinal meningitis. Andrews was presumed dead, but for some reason one of the attending physicians decided to administer a new drug, adrenaline, and his heart began to beat again.

By the time Andrews was officially declared undead six months later, his fiancée had married another man. (Andrews himself never married, although he reportedly turned down as many as 50 marriage proposals after a news story pointed out that the man with the castle was a bachelor.) And after a lengthy recovery, Andrews was stationed at Château de la Roche in southern France, where he served as a hospital administrator. The time in France left a lasting impression on Andrews, and would eventually influence the name of his life’s work.

In the 1920s, one of Andrews’ projects was his Boy Scout-esque troop, which he named the Knights of the Golden Trail (KOGT). The group often camped along the shore of the Little Miami River, which bisects Loveland. The two plots where the group stayed were donated by families of the scouts, who obtained the land through a subscription promotion held by the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper. The KOGT spent so much time on the site that they began to leave their camping gear there, leading Andrews to want to build two stone structures as shelters. Of course, the combination of knights and stone abodes led Andrews to decide that a castle needed to be built.

Andrews began construction in 1929. The structure is comprised of rocks pulled from the riverbed of the Little Miami, bricks he formed himself by pouring concrete into milk containers, and even stones given to him by visitors. Andrews modeled Château Laroche after a 16th century castle, but updated the floorplan to include modern rooms such as an office, garage, and junk room (though he made sure to include a dungeon and imprisonment tower, because what castle is complete without them?). Among its many facilities is a hidden room in the garden, accessible through one of the arches, which was discovered after Andrews’ death in 1981.

As Andrews told it, “Château 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." And the castle allegedly had American royalty among its fans. The King—Elvis Presley—reportedly visited Château Laroche multiple times and even offered to buy it. Andrews refused, and ultimately willed the castle and its ground to the Knights of the Golden Trail, who maintain it to this day.

Now, the Loveland Castle is open to visitors and regularly hosts a variety of activities from tours to picnics to overnights. One of the highlights is the annual Halloween Scary Knight Tour. And, yes, the Loveland Castle is rumored to be haunted. Andrews reportedly told visitors that a spirit named Casper Poltergeist inhabited the building, as all castles should have a ghost. And though that tale was merely something out of Andrews' imagination, some people believe that "Sir Harry" Andrews himself—whose remains were scattered on the property—now haunts his beloved castle.

19 Must-Visit Stops on Mexico City's Metro

About 5 million people ride the Mexico City subway every day—but most commuters don’t realize how much there is to do and see without ever having to go above ground. From piano stairs to a space tunnel, exploring the attractions hidden within the metro just might be the most fun you can have for 5 pesos (about $0.25 USD). These Mexico City metro stations settle the old question once and for all; it’s both the journey and the destination.


Talisman station (line 4) has a mammoth logo for a reason: Mammoth fossils were unearthed during construction of the metro, and you can see the bones—which date back to the Pleistocene—on display there.


space tunnel at La Raza station
Sharon Hahn Darlin, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

How do you make a long transfer fly by? Transform it into a walk-through space tunnel illuminated by a glow-in-the-dark night sky, the highlight of the science museum located within La Raza station (lines 3 and 5).


Viveros (line 3), a station named for the nearby nursery, is in full flower: It was recently given a jungle makeover complete with imitation palms, jaguars, and snakes to raise awareness for the preservation of southern Mexico’s Lacandon Rainforest.


Complement your day trip to the pyramids at Teotihuacan with a stop at the Pino Suarez station (lines 1 and 2), where you can see a 650-year-old pyramid dedicated to Ehecatl, the Aztec god of wind. Tens of thousands of users go through the station daily, making the pyramid one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico. (Though it's referred to as Mexico’s smallest archaeological zone, the National Institute of Anthropology and History doesn't consider it a "proper" archaeological zone "due to its size and the fact of being located in a Metro Transport System facility.")


Hidalgo (lines 2 and 3) may be the most miraculous of all of Mexico City’s metro stations: In 1997, someone (possibly a street vendor) discovered a water stain in the shape of the Virgin of Guadalupe in one of its floor tiles. The apparition attracted so many pilgrims that metro authorities eventually had to remove the tile, which is now enshrined just outside one of the exits (follow the signs for Iglesia), near the intersection of Paseo de la Reforma and Zarco. And if you happen to visit this station on the morning of the 28th of any month, you’ll be swarmed with pious commuters carrying figurines of Saint Judas Thaddeus—patron saint of delinquents and lost causes—who is venerated at the nearby San Hipolito Church.


No time to visit the vast National Museum of Anthropology? You can still catch reproductions of Mesoamerican statues at the Bellas Artes (lines 2 and 8) and Tezozomoc (line 6) stops.


miniatures on the Mexico city subway
Randal Sheppard, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Miniature maniacs shouldn’t miss the scale models of Mexico City’s main plaza at the Zocalo stop (line 2). They depict, in tiny form, the metamorphosis of the capital from the Aztec Templo Mayor to the present-day Metropolitan Cathedral. (And bonus points to anyone who can spot the cat who lives in this station.)


The music-themed Division del Norte station’s (line 3) free karaoke corner draws a crowd gathered to watch fellow riders belt out boleros and ballads on their way to work. The unassuming abuelitas laden with bags from the market always have the most impressive pipes.


piano stairs at Polanco station
Victor.Aguirre-Lopez, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Don’t take the escalators at Polanco station (line 7), because the stairs are a giant musical piano keyboard. Finally, here’s your chance to live out Tom Hanks’s piano dance scene from the movie Big.


The Guerrero stop (lines B and 3) is a tribute to the legends of lucha libre, with costume displays and murals dedicated to 45 of Mexico’s finest masked fighters.


The largest bookshop in Latin America can be found in the long passage between the Zocalo and Pino Suarez stations. The underground emporium known as Un Paseo Por Los Libros sells titles from textbooks to manga and also hosts free workshops, lectures, and movie screenings.


murals in the Mexico City subway
Thelmadatter, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Any visitor to Mexico City should check out Diego Rivera’s murals—but on your way, don’t forget to look up at the murals that decorate many metro stations. Particularly impressive are Guillermo Ceniceros’s ambitious chronicles of art through the history of time on the walls at the Copilco (line 3) and Tacubaya stations (lines 1, 7, and 9). On the kitschier side, see how many famous faces you can pick out in Jorge Flores Manjarrez’s I Spy-style mural of pop stars at the Auditorio stop (line 7).


A museum of caricatures located inside the Zapata stop (line 12) is an homage to Mexican cartooning, including plenty of satirical interpretations of the mustachioed revolutionary who gives the station its name.


If Chabacano station (lines 2, 8, and 9) feels unsettlingly familiar, it might be because it was used as a shooting location for the subway chase scene in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Total Recall. Legend has it you can still spot splashes of fake blood on the ceiling.


Museo del Metro de la Ciudad de México
ProtoplasmaKid, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Has this metro adventure turned you into a super fan? Do a deep dive at Mixcoac station’s (line 12) sleek Metro Museum, where you can learn even more fun facts about the subway’s 50 years of history while you wait out rush hour.

Pop Chart Lab
150 Northeast Lighthouses in One Illustrated Poster
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

Some of the world's most beautiful and historic lighthouses can be found in the American Northeast. Now, Pop Chart Lab is releasing an illustrated poster highlighting 150 of the historic beacons dotting the region's coastline.

The 24-inch-by-36-inch print, titled "Lighthouses of the Northeast," covers U.S. lighthouses from the northern tip of Maine to the Delaware Bay. Categorized by state, the chart features a diverse array of lighthouse designs, like the dual towers at Navesink Twin Lights in New Jersey and the distinctive red-and-white stripes of the West Quoddy Head Light in Maine.

Framed poster of lighthouses.
Pop Chart Lab

Each illustration includes the lighthouse name and the year it was first lit, with the oldest lighthouses dating back to the 1700s. There's also a map in the upper-left corner showing the location of each landmark on the northeast coast.

Chart of lighthouses.
Pop Chart Lab

The poster is now available to preorder for $37, with shipping set to start March 21. After memorizing every site on the chart, you can get to work exploring many of the other unique lighthouses the rest of the world has to offer.


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