Many have observed the mysterious and exquisite chateau perched on the bluff of West Main Hill in Kalamazoo with curiosity. The Henderson Castle has been nestled there for over a century, serving as one of the most distinguished landmarks in the city. Frank Henderson, one of Kalamazoo’s most successful businessmen at the turn of the century, had the 11,000 square foot Queen Anne style home built in 1895, by architect C.A. Gombert of Milwaukee, Wisc. Gombert had also created a stunning monument in Milwaukee known as the North Point water tower (1893).
Currently, the castle is open to the community, serving as a full bed and breakfast, with an organic garden, vineyard and spa.
The castle’s exterior is constructed of Lake Superior sandstone and brick, and is complimented by a spectacular porch that hugs the front of the curvaceous structure perfectly. Two sets of heavy wooden doors lead into an enchanting foyer where one’s mind immediately voyages back to the year of the castle’s construction, imagining the grand housewarming party that took place upon its completion. On the left, families, couples and/or friends enjoy fine French cuisine in 4, 7, or 11 course meals. From the back, mouthwatering smells drift from the kitchen where owner, Master Chef Francois Moyet, creates dinner on a vintage, black stove. Ingredients are pulled from tall, beautiful cabinets ornamented with a montage of brightly colored stained glass and beautiful arrangements are delivered to the dining area where guests await patiently.
To the right, a large staircase with handcrafted banisters leads to the second floor. Here, many of the ten luxurious bedrooms are located, one with heated marble flooring and another adorned with a golden ceiling, made of meticulously hand painted tiles. The third floor features a ballroom, steam room, and cozy common area. A twisted wooden staircase leads to a skylight that shimmies open at the touch of a button, leading to the roof. Here, one can enjoy an astonishing view from the relaxing rooftop hot tub.
The Henderson Castle has been in three movies and has also been featured on the Discovery Channel and House Hunters. It is a remarkable place to stay, be it in the main structure or in the guest cottage tucked in behind. Visit their website for more information.
Lindsey Hinkel, Contributing Writer