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Deep in the forests of New Hampshire are the strange remains of what was once a glittering, opulent castle. Located in Madame Sherri’s Forest near Chesterfield, the castle was once the home of the strange and eccentric Madame Antoinette Sherri. But, just because we know the woman behind the castle, doesn’t make its presence any less mysterious. In fact, Madame Sherri was a mystery herself. Here’s what we know about her, and how her castle came to be.
Who was Madame Sherri?
We may know who Madame Sherri told people she was, but it’s clear that she wasn’t entirely honest about her beginnings; this was not uncommon for someone in showbiz. As a result, details of her childhood are murky. We do know that Antoinette Sherri and her husband, Andre, claimed to be a Parisian actress and the son of an Italian diplomat respectively. They worked on and off Broadway in NYC during the glitzy Roaring ’20s, starting as dancers and performing on the vaudeville circuit. Soon, Andre started working as a producer, and Antoinette moved into costume design.
When Andre died in 1924, Sherri bought some property in Chesterfield, NH, and had a castle-like estate built there. She was living off the charity of a wealthy friend at this point. Some say that she only used the castle when entertaining, preferring to reside in a simple farmhouse nearby on the property. She did make a hobby of driving into town in her Packard, adorned in fancy gowns and furs, though.
Her castle today
Antoinette moved to Vermont shortly before she died in the 1960s, as her source of money dried up, and the castle became abandoned..
Vandals and partiers frequented the castle, and a fire eventually destroyed most of the building. The Chesterfield Conservation Commission took possession of the land, opening it to the public as Madame Sherri’s Forest. They’ve added some nature trails to the property, but it remains a rather remote and secluded park
Only the dramatic exterior staircase (that now leads nowhere) remains of the once-opulent structure. It attracts photographers and curious explorers alike. Some even claim that it might be haunted… but it could just be the atmosphere of driving deep into the woods on a rugged stone road to see the abandoned ruins of an eccentric rich lady’s burned-out castle. Who knows?