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"the very man was a witness" [WIST] 

Celebration of the restoration of the Gillette Castle locomotive

Today we have a report from the field - that is, one of our readers who went to an event and reported back on what happened. I suppose this is in the spirit of the Baker Street Irregulars, who were authorized by Sherlock Holmes to "go everywhere, see everything, overhear every one."

In this instance, it's a report on the unveiling of William Gillette's old locomotive at Gillette Castle on October 6. Our friend and Sherlockian colleague Jeff Bradway was there and here's what he wrote:
The Restoration Celebration for Gillette's locomotive at Gillette Castle State Park on October 6 was a splendid event. The day was splendid, an unseasonable 84 degrees; with the breezes prevalent atop the hill, however, it was delightful. As best as I could estimate, about one hundred people were present to view the restored locomotive, view the Castle and grounds, and engage in liberal wine-tasting and hors-d'oeuvre sampling, all products provided by local wine shops, restaurants and inns. There was also a silent auction for some lovely items, donated by various individuals and groups, including David Letterman and Jay Leno. On hand were local newscasters and dignitaries, including state Attorney-General Richard Blumenthal. As night fell, the winners of the auction were announced, and the crowd waited, some patiently, some not, for the fireworks display over the Connecticut River, which was delayed about 3/4 of an hour, but which was well worth the wait.

The locomotive has been beautifully restored - all gleaming black enamel, with shining brass dials and glorious oak cow-catcher. It is currently on display in the center hall of the visitors center. Plans are to build a structure for it out on the grounds of the Castle, apparently with overhead type doors that can be lifted to reveal it to park visitors.
Watching fireworks from Gillette Castle? Sounds like quite an evening. We remember going to dinners at the Castle for the Men on the Tor. But since the Castle is a state park now, there are precious few opportunities to be there after dark. One of Jeff's photos is a shot of the Castle lit up in the darkness. Below is a slideshow featuring 10 shots from the event. The full set is available at Flickr.



Anonymous said... October 19, 2007 at 9:12 AM

A nice report on a wonderful event. Thanks Jeff for the photos and report.

Bobby the Bike