Hello everybody. I've found these forums and thought it would be interesting to share with you my recent impressions when travelling to Florida. Me and my wife (not the Latvian one
) visited the "Coral Castle". Now it's a 'national treasure' in Florida and possibly in the US. It is one of the most intriguing sites in the whole of the United States. Read below, why...
I was surprised it has been built by a Latvian immigrant, named Edward Leedskalnin
(written as Edvards Liedskalniņš
in Latvian). When he was 25, he was engaged to be married to his one true Love, Agnes Scuffs
, ten years younger than him. Ed called her "Sweet Sixteen". But Agnes was really a cruel (or stupid?) girl and canceled the ceremony just the night before their wedding. Ed's heart was broken for a lifetime, but since he really loved Agnes, he decided to dedicate the whole life to her, with some recognizable achievement.
Several years later, he immigrated to the United States, where he found work in lumber camps in Canada, California, and Texas. Ed's family came from stone Latvian masons, that's why working with native machinery wasn't a new thing to him. However Ed never was a great health guy, his height was just about a little over 5 feet (152 cm) and the weight of 100 pounds (45 kg). He also was not educated enough, but spent a lot of time in libraries.
The work lead to contracting a case of tuberculosis, after which Ed moved to the warmer climate of Florida around 1919, where he purchased a small piece of land in Florida City. In about 20 years he single-handedly built the Coral Castle
, named by him personally as "Rock Gate Park"
, as a dedication to his True Love, a Latvian girl Agnes.
Incredibly, but he cut and moved huge coral blocks using only hand tools! Working alone at night, Ed eventually quarried and sculpted over 1,100 tons of coral into this monument. But even when the castle has been "finalized", it was not the end of the story. Noone knows for sure why Leedskalnin decided to relocate, one of supposments is that somebody decided to to build a subdivision near Ed's home, Ed didn't like it at all and moved to Homestead near Florida where he bought much bigger peace of land (about 40 ha). The second commonly held notion was that he wanted to relocate to a more populous locale after being badly beaten one night by hooligans looking to rob him, believing Ed has a treasure hidden in his castle.
Next three years moving the Coral Castle structures 10-miles to that location, using the chassis of an old Republic truck on which he laid two rails with the help of his friend's tractor. Yes, Ed lived a very simple life, he didn't even own a car.
Around the castle, there were built walls to help protect Ed's privacy. Many people have seen the coral carvings being moved along the highway, but no one has actually ever seen Ed loading the trailer. He was always working alone.
When it came time to load and unload the coral stones, Ed always asked the trucker to look away. He gave polite, but cryptic answers to visitors' questions regarding his construction and moving methods, which to this day remain a mystery
. Like: "It's not difficult if you know how."
Mostly the work has been performed at night by lantern light, despite basing on the perfect understaing laws of weight and leverage, later Ed even built an AC Current generator. There is a real Secret
behind all of that, which is also kept by Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, and that is about how physically a weak and sick man can roll mountains up. An impressive example of will!
Nevertheless, some people have reported that they did glimpse him at work. One person claims to have seen the rocks move by themselves. Ed's neighbor stated he saw Edward singing to the stones with his hands placed on their surface. A group of young witnesses claimed to see coral blocks floating through the air "like hydrogen balloons." Of course, they all can't be considered as true.