Explore Madame Sherri’s Castle ruins and travel back in time to the roaring 1920’s. Just a 12 minute drive from the charming Inn on Putney Road find the mysterious remains of a lavish life. Within the Madame Sherri Forest, the Ann Stoke Loop Trail leads to the skeleton of a magnificent house. When approaching the ruins, hikers first notice a massive stone staircase curving up into the forest canopy. Further exploration reveals the castle’s remaining stone columns, fireplace and lower level with great archways. This was once the home of Madame Antoinette Sherri, an eccentric costume designer from New York. The grand lady threw “Great Gatsby” style parties here during the late 1920’s. After years of reckless spending, Madame Sherri abandoned the house and sadly it burned down in 1962. The site is a favorite of photographers, ghost hunters and local lore enthusiasts. After hiking into the past, return to our serene Bed and Breakfast located in downtown Brattleboro. We offer luxury guest rooms, beautiful gardens and a gourmet breakfast. Book your summer getaway in Brattleboro and discover our colorful past.
The Madame of the Castle
Tall tales have grown around the legend of Madame Sherri. Visitors claim to see her ghost standing atop the stairs and the faint sound of music from her long ago parties. But who was this glamorous figure? Born 1878 in France as Antoinette Bramare, she began her life as a seamstress. Later she performed under the name Antoinette DeLilas in trendy clubs. In 1909 she met Anthony Macaluso (traveling under the name Andre Reila) on the run from blackmail charges in the US. They married and traveled to NYC in 1911, where they became very active in the world of show business. Antoinette, an avid admirer of Otto Hauerbach’s play, “Madame Sherry,” opened a costume design business under the name “Andre-Sherri.” Her business flourished for 8 years, with big name clients such as Flo Ziegfeld.
Devastated by her husband’s death in 1924, she decided to leave the NYC social scene. After visiting friends in West Chesterfield, NH, she chose to build a home in the quiet countryside. In 1929 she purchased 600 acres of land and began work on her famous castle. The home was an odd mix of Roman and French chalet styles, and the location of her notorious wild parties. Gossip surrounded the visiting NYC crowd, riding around town in her cream-colored Packard, allegedly wearing nothing under fur coats.
Madame Sherri threw great parties but soon the reckless lifestyle and spending left her broke. She was forced to abandon her castle and live with friends and, eventually, in a nursing home. After the castle burned down in 1962, Ann Stokes purchased the property. The New Hampshire Society for the Preservation of Forests maintains the property today.
Hiking to the Castle
The Ann Stoke Loop trail within the Madame Sherri Forest leads to this fascinating site. The trail is a pleasant 2 mile hike through a hemlock forest. After exploring the castle extend your hike on several other linking trails. Past the enchanting Indian Pond are open ledges that offer great views. A whole day can be enjoyed hiking the trails near the castle.
The castle recall scenes from a fairytale book with stairs spiraling up to the heavens. This special hike transports visitors to another time. Madame Sherri’s favorite saying was “only the best,” we agree and think she would approve of our French Provincial manor. Reserve a summer vacation in lovely Brattleboro and treat yourself to some luxury at the Inn on Putney Road.