Places We Have Called Home In 2019

Home Is Where We Park It:   UMOM New Day Centers, Phoenix 

Nov 18, 2109

Temperature 85 Degrees

Ramada Reconstruction

Mystery Castle of Phoenix Part Two

Hi Ho, Hi Ho I Volunteered So It Is Off To Work I Go!

Today we’re back at it with the team.  Last week they began Ramada Reconstruction and that is what is on the docket for this week.  Hopefully, we can finish this outdoor project before the rain set’s in on Wednesday.

This is one that is almost ready for painting


A second one that needs the concrete backer-board installed then painted.


The tool wagon has arrived.


Barbara is loaded for bear!  A real two handed power tool user.


Smile Steve, it’s not all that bad just another 6 hours to go!


Many hands make light work.


What’s that you say, That is Called A Board?  Now I know!


Measure Twice and Cut Once!


Denise is a real cut up.



We made good progress today.  With any luck we’ll be ready to paint the three that we’ve already built by tomorrow.

So much for our day here at UMOM.  Let’s go back and conclude our tour of the Mystery Castle of Phoenix.

We’ll begin with the Mother In Law room.  Actually, you can’t go into this room for the following reason.  Look at the stairs leading to it.  Yes, the staff still goes up on occasion.


That spire up there, it’s a lightening rod.  They said it was connected to the metal bed frame in the room!  We all know of course they were only kidding.


Let’s head to the kitchen.  This is the original stove and oven.  The castle had no electricity until the mid 60’s and no running water until the mid 70’s.  Remember, Mary Lou and her mother were living here full time.  Water originally came from a river over a mile away.  When they first moved in there was a water truck on site.  But then someone stole it.  They adapted we were told and found other ways to gather water.


Table setting at the kitchen table.


Lamp over the table.  Look at the detail.  It’s just amazing what you find and where you find it in this wonderful home.


Speaking of which, how about this plant.


I found this tea pot and platter set so beautiful and colorful.  Mary Lou they told us always kept at least one cat in the castle.  Why?  To keep snakes, mice and other native wild life in check.


This by the way is the kitchen after electricity was installed.


To the guest room.  Look at the stones in the floor, the walls, look at the windows, the wooden figures, there is something different in every direction that you turn.


Now how about this for ingenuity – the bed tucks in under a shelf and when needed slides out on wheels attached to rails embedded in the floor.

bed on rails

I know this is not the best picture, but believe it or not this window is actually a rim from a Stuz Bearcat.


Another fireplace.  Note the copper work above it.  The art work around it.  So many, many items to look at and appreciate.


More furnishings in the Guest Room.


And this pillow done we were told by Leonard De Copy Cat!


Time for another room.  On our way there we are going to pass The Fountain of Youth.  Want to take a guess as to what it once was?  He definitely used everything that he found!


This was the kennel for the Castle Dog.


We’ve come now to the chapel.  Mystery Castle used to be a popular place to hold weddings, but in the mid-2000s Mary Lou Gulley decided that no more weddings would be held here. This wedding altar is located in the chapel room.


What do you think?  Maybe, maybe not?



Moving out of the chapel we are headed to the bar.  But before we get there, remember I said he used everything he got his hands on?  This is an actual railroad rail set in the ceiling of this room.  Branching out from it are railroad ties.


Yes, there was also a bar built in the castle.


Notice what our friend is drinking?


You might even say they thought of everything.  Too much to drink?  Here’s a place where you can sleep it off.



One more place to visit.  This one is outside, it is the barbecue that was built.


If you look close you will see that a good part of the barbecue is built of what our guide told us was originally known as klin rejects.  You could pick them up for free.  Today, they are considered extremely rare and quite costly.  Imagine that!





There is so, so much to see here.  While guests are free to roam through the castle and get an up-close look at their surroundings, one room remains inaccessible to visitors: the private bedroom of Mary Lou. She wanted to keep her personal sleeping quarters behind closed doors, and only a privileged few have seen it. These are the stairs leading to it.


And the view of the room from the outside.  It is the largest room in the castle.


Mary Lou and her mother began giving tours of the castle in 1948, and after her mother passed, Mary Lou continued to reside in the home until her own passing in 2010.

Mary Lou Gulley, resident princess and proprietress of the Mystery Castle, passed away November 3, 2010, her obituary reads. To ensure the Castle and the spirits of her father, mother, grandmother, uncle, and all other keepers of the castle would live on, Mary Lou formed The Mystery Castle Historical Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, to preserve and care for the castle when she was no longer able to do so.

Today, the castle remains intact, just as it was left when Mary Lou passed. Visitors can tour the site and hear it’s story firsthand.

If you have or are putting together a bucket list of must see places in the USA this one deserves to be on that list.  There is so much more to see in addition to the pictures in the last two blogs.  The tour itself and the knowledge imparted by the guides is priceless.

A word of caution:   the parking lot is unpaved, rocky and uneven. The house and the surrounding walkways are worse, with steep, uneven steps and walking surfaces that are not level. But given all that it is well worth making the effort to get here and to take a tour.  You will not regret it.  We sure didn’t!

Another day on The Road of Retirement has come to a close.  Time to get some shut eye since tomorrow is another work day.  It’s been another great day spent with friends and working on projects that hopefully will in the end benefit others.  You can’t ask for more than that.

Thanks for coming along again today.  We also appreciate your company and your comments.  Catch you tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s two intrepid travelers.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before

See you on down the road!



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