Every little girl dreams about her wedding one day. They dream about what they are going to wear; what they will dance to; and thanks to Disney, that dream includes Prince Charming that will kiss you to wake you up, a white horse and a castle. While I had a very nice wedding and I feel I married my Prince Charming, I didn’t get married in a castle. Quite honestly, I thought I’d have to go to England or Scotland to see a castle! But we don’t! We have Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan!
**I had the pleasure of visiting Northern Michigan as part of a press trip. My food and rooming accommodations were provided, but all stories and opinions are 100% my own**
Now I’ve told you a little about my trip to Northern Michigan and how much I enjoyed each and every place we went to, but my absolute favorite place was Castle Farms in Charlevoix.
History of Castle Farms
Castle Farms was originally known as “Loeb Farms”. This is because it was built in 1918 by Albert Loeb (acting President of Sears, Roebuck, and Company). In the beginning, the castle acted as a working dairy farm and it was where all the new farming equipment that Sears and Roebuck offered in their catalog. Sadly, in 1924, Albert Loeb passed away and his son, Ernest took over running Loeb Farms. However, due to an agricultural recession, Ernest had to make the hard decision to close Loeb Farms in 1927. All equipment and livestock were sold at public auctions and the farm buildings were used as storage for the next 30 years.
Who Started Castle Farms?
100 acres of Loeb Farms was purchased in 1962 by John VanHaver. Buildings were cleaned up and repaired and the farm was renamed as Castle VanHaver. In 1966, the castle was opened up to the public and tours were given. They also had an art gallery and an artist studio on the property, as well!
John VanHaver decided to sell the property in 1969 to Arthur and Erwina Reibel. They originally thought the property would be used as a center for the arts, but it eventually evolved into a music theater and summer concert area. They also changed the name from Castle VanHaver to Castle Farms. Castle Farms quickly became “Rock n’ Roll Central and hosted many rock concerts. The concerts went until about 1993 and in 1999, Art Reibel passed away and, once again, the castle is up for sale.
It wasn’t long before the castle was purchased by Linda Mueller. In 2001, Linda Mueller began extensive restoration efforts on the buildings and grounds. In 2002, the first wedding was held at Castle Farms and it wasn’t long before Castle Farms was hosting weddings, receptions, festivals, corporate and social events year round!
I mean, really…isn’t it just the most gorgeous thing ever? I could go on and on about how much I loved Castle Farms and all of the things I saw there, but honestly, it is something you need to see and this video from their website shows it best!!
Weddings and Other Events
I had the following conversation with my daughter the other day…
“Hey Bella, how would you like to get married in a castle?”
As she’s laughing, “how would I do that?”
Showing her a picture of Castle Farms, “Remember when I went up north a couple weeks ago? I went here and you can get married here.”
“Can I have a white horse, knights, a cannon, and glass shoes?”
Oh and for the record, I told her yes to all of those things…I’m hoping that in the next 20 years or so, she forgets about the cannon! Here are some photos of how fabulous Castle Farms looks when set up for a wedding reception:
So beautiful! If you’re looking for that truly unique and beautiful location for your wedding, please consider Castle Farms, I really don’t think you will regret it! It’s that beautiful!
Besides weddings and other social events, Castle Farms also offers guided and self-guided tours. Bring your kids! They will not only love the castle, but there is also the Castle Garden Railroad and Giant Chess Sets (my son would LOVE the giant chess set). If you are coming for a group tour, Castle Farms also offers Croquet or Bocce Ball for just $1 per person!
A variety of educational services are available, as well:
- Castle Math
- Michigan History
- History of Farming
- History of Castles
The Castle, like I said, is beautiful. The history of the castle, everything on display that you can look at (vintage cake toppers, figurines, etc), and the gift shop…I loved the gift shop…really makes this a place you need to visit. Northern Michigan has so much to offer, so be sure to make a trip of it and see the Sleeping Bear Dunes, visit Traverse City, and look for Petoskey Stones at Petoskey State Park!