(photo) Linares, Ziobron Tour Gillette Castle State Park; Talk Preservation

July 17, 2013

On July 16, Rep. Melissa Ziobron (left) and Sen. Art Linares (right) toured Gillette Castle State Park with state environmental officials and discussed operations at the state park.

“We have so many beautiful state parks and forests in our region,” Rep. Ziobron said. “We take pride in protecting and preserving the environment. We will continue to do whatever we can do to help to improve our state parks system and bring attention to it.”

“A tour of this park will make anyone love the Connecticut River even more,” Sen. Linares said. “Rep. Ziobron and I have ‘adopted’ Gillette Castle State Park and many others in order to raise awareness about the 100-year anniversary of the Connecticut state parks system. We thank state environmental officials for their courtesy in taking us on this tour and help with preservation efforts.”

Hartford native William Gillette began construction of his “castle” in 1914. The building, said to be modeled after the Normandy fortress of Robert LeDiable, father of William the Conqueror, was not completed until 1919. Standing 200 feet above sea level, it affords visitors a spectacular view of the river valley. Best known for his role as Sherlock Holmes, Gillette spared nothing in the design of his castle. The imposing granite walls, four to five feet thick, and twenty-four oddly shaped windows are evidence of his individuality. The castle grounds include hiking trails and picnic facilities. The castle and grounds are now a state park and both have recently undergone an extensive renovation. The restoration of the castle interior includes the furniture and paintings, as well as the woodwork and wallcoverings.

Who can adopt a park? Individuals of all ages, community groups, youth groups, special interest groups, corporations, schools, agencies and families are all welcomed to choose and adopt a park. How can you sign up? Contact Adopt a Park volunteer coordinator Wanda Torres at (860) 418-5963 or e-mail [email protected] . To learn more about Connecticut parks and forests, visit www.ct.gov/deep .

Rep. Ziobron can be reached at [email protected] or at 800-842 1423. She represents East Haddam, East Hampton and Colchester.

Sen. Linares can be reached at [email protected] or at 800-842 1421. He represents Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.