Awesome Castle In Michigan

Why is there a castle in Michigan? Apparently, some fellow by the name of Max Helmer developed an obsession with European castles during a tour in Germany and decided he was just going to build one for himself. Now, that’s logic I just can’t argue with.

I can tell you one thing… if I had an extra $500,000 laying around you can guarantee I’d buy the sh*t out of Helmer’s Castle – but, alas, I do not.

Oh well, at least we can enjoy a virtual tour of the place (with a bit of backstory).

“A man’s home is his castle. Max Helmer’s house literally was a castle. Helmer fell in love with medieval structures while touring Europe in the 1920s as a concert violinist. He built his castle atop one of Jackson’s tallest elevations, a hill on S. Draper Road in Liberty Township.” -Susanne Weible

“Helmer was a wealthy musician who inherited a large estate from his father, banker Fred Helmer. The reclusive bachelor built the six-story tower in 1929, copying a fifth-century Roman hall built near Nuremberg, Germany.” -Susanne W.

“The structure was originally designed for seclusion, but it became a pillar of interest. Builder C.J. Jorgensen crafted the tower using fieldstone from the neighboring Almaran “Mattie” Hatt farm.” -Susanne W.


“More than 500 tons of rock and 300 barrels of cement were used to build the first five floors. Jorgensen used horses, nine helpers and a crane.” -Susanne W.

“The tower walls are 3-feet-wide at the base and are tapered to the top. A ceiling leak developed on the fifth story. A sixth-floor, lookout room was added to alleviate the problem.” -Susanne W.

“The first five levels were designed as bedrooms and are reached by climbing a narrow, circular staircase. Each level has a fireplace. The top story is accessible only from an outside balcony staircase.” -Susanne W.

“Beneath the structure is a customary castle feature — a dungeon — entered through a trap door on the first floor.” -Susanne W.

“A 2-story wing was added in 1937. Worker Joe Forcier used a team of Belgian draft horses to haul more stone from Hatt’s land. Helmer decorated with antiques and many European items, including authentic wrought-iron hinges from the Middle Ages.”-Susanne W.

“Helmer died Dec. 5, 1948, at age 55. It was originally thought he was murdered at home, but it was later ruled a heart attack. After Helmer’s death, the building became home to Edna Barnes until 1973.” -Susanne W.


“Helmer died Dec. 5, 1948, at age 55. It was originally thought he was murdered at home, but it was later ruled a heart attack. After Helmer’s death, the building became home to Edna Barnes until 1973.” -Susanne W.

“Barnes was known to fend off trespassers with a gun and a German shepherd named Klaus. In 1975, it was the film location of the horror movie “Demon Lover”. It then passed through several other owners. Arthur Klenk purchased the property in 1982.” -Susanne W.

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