The Castle at Mount Savage – History

The Castle

15925 Mt. Savage Road NW

Mt. Savage, MD 21545

 

Looming over the area, the old stone mansion that was built to resemble a Scottish castle still stands as a tribute to the past and historical value of the area of Mt. Savage, Maryland. At one point, the old Union Mining Company ran the majority of the business in the area, being the lead exporter of material for the entire eastern seaboard which helped the state and country grow.

Come the Civil War, the area was basically depleted of working bodies, but a Scotsman moved into the area and helped revamp the economy post-war. Not only did he bring back business to the Mt. Savage area but Andrew Ramsey became an innovator of brickworks and helped expand the area even more.

Even though the Great Depression truly hit the area hard, including the Castle, somehow, someway, businesses still were attracted to the historical building which helped keep it alive until the turn of the century and the long lasting bed and breakfast could move in and truly call it a home.

 

 

Ominously enough, the staff and guests alike claim that there may be other unearthly guests who also join the living in staying at the Castle, calling it their home rather than just another weekend getaway.

 

The Past

 Originally built to house doctors for the Union Mining Company, The Castle began as a simple stone house in the early 1840’s in northern Maryland. As the mining companies began to move on and the Civil War ravished the country, the house was left without purpose and abandoned.

A young entrepreneur, born in Scotland, Andrew Ramsay moved to Mt. Savage, Maryland and began the extremely profitable and well-known masonry business of Mt. Savage Enameled Brickworks Company. The company produced unique colored glazed brick which was popular in the late 1800’s and known for its smooth texture and easy-to-clean surface. By 1898, Andrew purchased the former Union Mining doctoral house and renovated it into a gorgeous stone mansion. The design behind the mansion was to replicate the Scottish castle in Andrew’s former hometown known as Craig Castle.

 

 

Ramsay’s castle mansion added terraces, verandas, and porches all around the exterior. He added glazed tile to accentuate the walls which was only available to the wealthy at that time. The renovation also saw an increase in living and entertainment space as an entire third floor was added on and a brand new full wing complete with a large kitchen, library, and ballroom nearly doubled the house in size. The land itself was also expanded up to two full acres with a guesthouse, expansive gardens, and a sport/tennis court. To complete the castle appearance, Andrew had a full stone wall stretching up sixteen feet tall surround the property.

Andrew and his family (his wife Jesse and three children; John, Jesse, and William) lived a happy life until his fortune faded. Come the Great Depression in the early 1930’s, Ramsay’s wealth was depleted and he and his company filed for bankruptcy. With no other option, The Castle was sold to the highest bidder so the bank could reclaim their money.

As Andrew and his family tried to move on, Andrew fell into a deep depression and they were forced to move with their closest relatives in Ohio. Unfortunately, Andrew passed away in 1932 but was ultimately buried in Mt. Savage which he considered his true home.

After the mansion was sold, it was passed along regularly, each time falling on darker times and less respectful owners. Private families owned the residence, each one ironically falling onto hard times, leaving the mansion for repossession. It was then transitioned into a local dance hall and casino. After the failure of that business venture, the mansion took a dive into the lower depths of social class and served as a brothel for a lengthy period of time. Eventually, The Castle was separated off and reconstructed into an apartment building. By that failure, the mansion was truly in the worst condition of its existence but it had one last gasp of life breathed into it come 1984.

 

 

It took two full years of careful, historical renovations, but in 1986, the Castle formally opened as a Bed & Breakfast. Still in operation today, the inn welcomes its’ guests with time specific four post beds, claw foot tubs, antique wallpaper, and even original artwork.

Visitors who trek through the mountainous region of Maryland are greeted by the tall stonewall and gravel driveway as the Castle looms into view overlooking the area. Entering the bed and breakfast, guests enter through the renovated terrace complete with original tiled floor. Typically, the innkeepers will have lemonade, iced tea, and wine awaiting along with snacks like cookies, fruit, and cheese. During the colder months, hot teas, hot chocolate, and coffee are regularly served in front of the parlor’s warm and welcoming fireplace. Food is regularly available and served by the in-house gourmet chef making every meal memorable and unique. During their stay, guests are invited to walk the grounds including the formal gardens and stone pathways.

The bed and breakfast at the historical Castle is one of the finer establishments that brings in guests from all over, trekking the backroads of Maryland at all times of year to stay at this charming and always welcoming inn.

 

Paranormal Experiences

 The inviting and beautiful views aside, this mansion also has a very odd presence about it. Many guests explain the feeling like someone is always watching over them. As they make their way through the stone mansion and across the property’s grounds, there is a continuing sensation as if someone is following them, even if there is no one else nearby. Many couples visit the mansion together and typically corroborate these feelings and stories. The innkeepers themselves have been said to experience the same impressions as their guests to further gain credibility to these claims.

There have been numerous reports of doors slamming closed and even opening on their own, right in front of guests and the innkeepers. There have also been odd scratching noises heard stemming from the Robert Burns Room. These noises will typically result in many complaints and reports of guests being kept up or just concerned about the sound.

 

 

The staff has actually seen an apparition in the library and great hall areas. The figure typically roams aimlessly through, almost pacing back and forth. The shadowy figure appears to wear a formal jacket. Those who work at the bed and breakfast have claimed that it resembles the founder of the Castle, Andrew Ramsay. The apparition of Andrew doesn’t appear to be confined to one particular area of the house but rather roams freely as it pleases. The upper floor, which was originally a ballroom but now acts as the innkeepers’ living quarters, has been a common location where this apparition is seen wondering about.

Other mists have been seen, but not attributed to Mr. Ramsey. These forms are said to be the residual remains of the doctors who once lived in the first stone house taking care of the Union Mining Company workers.

 

 

Other oddities crop up in the mansion such as phantom voices and disembodied footsteps. On the occasion, objects in the mansion will appear to have moved, even though no one was around to physically move them.

Whether it’s the spirit of Andrew Ramsey or the doctors from the original house, something has been leftover in the Castle. These apparitions seemingly believe that this mansion is still theirs and that they are the true owners. Even though their own expirations have come and gone, there is some reason that these spirits have been relegated to the expansive and beautiful Castle in Mt. Savage, Maryland.

 

 

 

 

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