Cassidy Castle

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY

Cassidy Castle

Cassidy Castle (Old Stage Road) in the 1890s

Article from the Booklet Knox, New York Sesquicentennial, 1822-1972

Excerpt taken from the Times Union, September 1, 1940:


French Castles in the beautiful Chateau Country south of Paris took 100 years to build, but the famous Cassidy Castle which was located in the Town of Knox (Old Stage Road) was built, inhabited and deserted in the short span of 50 years.

Edward A. Cassidy, an Albany architect, went to France during the 1890's to study art and there conceived the building of a castle on the highest part of his estate.

Upon his return, he consulted several contractors about the strange idea of building a castle and finally selected Mr. George Weaver. They decided to use Oriskany stone and Mr. Cassidy bought an entire square mile of land to insure a plentiful supply.

Once completed, Cassidy Castle with its Norman arch (doorway), glass-enclosed turret and ancient stone architecture became known from coast to coast.

A tourist hotel was erected on the side of the mountain to house the guests who came to see it and to participate in the Saturday night game-cock matches which flourished in that era. The estate also contained a quarter mile enclosed racetrack, where Mr. Cassidy broke and trained his colts.

Suddenly, the gay and festive life at Cassidy Castle ended. Lured once again by the beauty of France, Mr. Cassidy sold his estate to Mrs. Harriet Christie of Camp Pinnacle (Thatcher Park Area of the Helderbergs).

Mrs. Christie transferred the castle and several acres of the estate to the Salvation Army of Albany during the 1940's, it is believed. The ancient appearance of the castle was then broken by that of youth, the estate was converted into a Fresh Air Camp.

The castle was torn down — the date unknown. The Schenectady Boys Club, Camp Love Joy are the present owners.

Additional Articles

Young Woman's Summer Camp

Cassidy "Castle" Purchased.

The deeds for the Young Woman's Summer Camp at Altamont were signed Tuesday, whereby the Edward Cassidy estate passes into the hands of this organization.

Some months ago an endeavor was made to raise $13,000 with which to make the purchase. By May 1, the time limit, only $10,000 had been subscribed. This the owner accepted in cash and made the transfer. The camp includes the house known as the "Castle" a large barn and 30 acres of land. Improvements have been commenced on the building and it is hoped to have them completed in a fortnight.

The camp will then accommodate 150 girls each week. A preliminary season was opened on June 15 and about 23 girls weekly are enjoying the camp.

Altamont Enterprise, Probably June 22, 1907

Destroyed by Fire

Cassidy ‘Castle’ Local Landmark Destroyed by Fire

Fire has destroyed the old Cassidy castle on the hill over looking Altamont, but the old structure was already in the process of being torn down when it burned.

Owned by the Salvation Army, officials told Altamont Fire Chief John Armstrong that the project of razing, The Castle, had already been started. According to Armstrong, workers were burning rubbish near the old structure Monday, when it caught fire. Altamont. firemen were called to keep the blaze from spreading to other buildings near by.

The fire consumed all of the wood, work in the building. That part of the building made of stone will be razed, it is said.

Unused for many years, the old castle was constructed by the late Edward R. Cassidy some 60 years ago. Cassidy built it for a home, and its castle-like design was an original idea. Mr. Cassidy later went to France, where he died a number of years ago.

Some years after its construction, Mr. Cassidy turned the castle over to Mrs. Harriet Christie, a leader of the Albany Bible school, then it came into use by the YWCA, and still later by the Bible School.

Some years ago the property was purchased by the Salvation Army, which has made use of the grounds as a summer camp for children.

Friday, June 17, 1949 Altamont Enterprise

Young Woman's Summer Camp Post Cards - Views of the Castle

Camp Lovejoy

Camp Lovejoy Dedication Set For This Saturday

Camp Lovejoy, the recently-acquired Schenectady Boy's Club summer Da-Kamp, will be dedicated on Saturday, June 15 at 2 p. m., it was announced by Dr. Ralph Isabella, president of the Schenectady Boys' Club, Inc.

Named in honor of Jesse R. Loveday, an early benefactor of the Boys' Club, the camp will provide a complete summer day camp program, including, hikes, crafts and other out-door sports. The Da-Kamp program is scheduled for six weekly periods, beginning June 24 and ending July 29.

The public has been invited to attend the dedication ceremonies which will be held at the camp, located just above Altamont on the Old Stage Rd. Members of the dedication ceremonies include George J. Jackson, chairman, and R. T. Riggs, C. H. Georgi, N. O. Hanson and A. D. Milliard.

Altamont Enterprise, Friday, June 14, 1957

For more current information about Camp Lovejoy, visit: Camp Lovejoy