We’ve met several incredible people so far on our journey – Mike Carmichael, World’s Largest Paint Ball; Cowboy and Pappy, the Carnies; Conrad and Lori, our tour guides for Milwaukee – to name a few. And the Wings, Peter and Toni are another we met today. Peter over the last four decades, literally hand-built a three-story fantasy castle.
With no design, engineering or architectural experience, the newlyweds went to the town council with a dream and a hurriedly-sketched representation of what the castle might look like. Thanks to the lax permit laws of the 1970s, their plans were approved. While the end result is truly amazing, it’s interesting to consider that this fantasy castle would never become a reality today, unless they consulted with an architect and engineer, hired a licensed contractor, paid or bribed the city’s inspectors and pretty much hopped through a gauntlet of flaming hoops.
For $10 each, we received a private tour led by Toni. She walked us around the property and throughout the house, expressing the ups and downs of the four-decade journey. In the first three years, the lived in the dank basement while the framework of their castle took shape. After building the foundation, the real work began and the next 19 years was truly a labor of love as together they cleaned bricks, cut stone and added them to the walls, dug and shaped the moat/Olympic-sized swimming pool and laid the patio areas. They hand crafted the inside stonework and collected historic decorations, and Peter somehow found time to create and sell artwork around the country.
While the castle continues to be an ongoing project, but more recently they opened two of the rooms for a new Bed and Breakfast. This project is more daunting because of today’s laws and regulations requiring the plans to be approved and the site regularly inspected – things they never concerned themselves with in the past.
Some people waste God-given talent, but Peter and Toni have used every ounce of their talent and all of their dedication and hardwork to make their dreams come true. Amazing.
We were able to take a few photos inside and a ton outside and we’ll let them speak for themselves. To schedule your own tour, visit their website.