Life in the Fairhope Castle

March 16, 2016

23  comments

Dean and Pagan Mosher, Fairhope Castle. Photo by: Robert TarabellaMeet Dean and Pagan Mosher, designers, dreamers, builders and occupants of Fairhope’s most famous house . . . or more correctly, most famous castle.


Fairhope Castle Tour, Leslie Anne TarabellaFor the past few years, I’ve served on the board of directors of the Eastern Shore Art Center, and have recently been in charge of membership. In order to promote what fun it is to be a member, (wheee!) we have decided to organize special “members only” field trips and excursions, so here I am in my new red shoes welcoming everyone. It was a fun group of about 25 people who were all interested in the local history and architecture of the Fairhope Castle.


The Sheldon Castle, Fairhope AlabamaThere are actually two castles, fondly referred to as “story book” castles. One built by Pagan’s late father, artist and writer Craig Sheldon, who named Pagan after the pagans he spent time with during the war. He said they were the nicest, most Christian people he had ever met – and that’s only one of the many, many stories that surround this fascinating family.

 

Pagan Mosher at the Sheldon Castle, Fairhope AlabamaWhen she’s not busy nibbling her curds and whey and waving her magic wand, Pagan, is also the co-director of The Creative Outlet Dance Center. She told us how it was always interesting growing up in such a creative home (which is now called the Sheldon Castle) and how her father would have the children bring stones back with them when they would walk down to swim in Mobile Bay. Each stone was worked into the house design which evolved over time. This house is where Pagan’s sister Megrez now lives. She was named after a favorite star Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon would look at each night when they were separated during war time. You may also recognize that name as belonging to Pagan and Dean’s daughter, Megrez Mosher, who I told you about HERE.

Door at the Sheldon Castle, Fairhope AlabamaThe front door was carved by Mr. Sheldon and autographed by famous artists, politicians, and other interesting folks who visited him.

 

The Mosher Castle, Fairhope Alabama Years later, Dean and Pagan began construction on this castle of their own just across the lawn, and over the fairy tale bridge (I call it the Billy Goats Gruff Bridge – one of my favorite fairy tales). This home is known as the Mosher Castle.

 

The Fairhope Castle or Mosher Castle in Fairhope Alabama.

When not tending to castle duties like shooing out the dragons or sweeping up the pixie dust, Dean is a world renowned artist with works hanging in The Smithsonian as well as several other museums and major universities.

 

Dean Mosher, Fairhope AlabamaHis paintings and sculptures are known for their historical and natural details. Dean’s intense research has led him to work on several films and he told us about firing a real cannon in order to be able to paint a scene accurately. That’s just one example of his major dedication to detail and why Dean is in such demand.

 

Kitchen of the Mosher Castle, Fairhope AlabamaHere we are in the kitchen looking at the beautiful handmade table. The built-in china cabinet in the background was made by Dean for Pagan as a Christmas gift. It has a beautiful asymmetrical pattern in the door. Each light fixture, mantle, hearth, and bookcase has a wonderful story behind it.


Mosher Castle in Fairhope AlabamaHere’s the nautical influenced kitchen table that looks out on the “drawbridge” front door.



Balcony of the Mosher Castle in Fairhope AlabamaUp in the turret, where Rapunzel lives (you can really see her hair hanging out the window this weekend during The Arts and Crafts Festival) is my favorite spot. It’s a beautiful view of the kingdom with all the rooflines giving a magical feel to the balcony where a cool breeze blows. Dean designed, cut, sanded, painted and installed all of the woodwork which mimics the surrounding tree branches and roots.

 

Mosher Story Book Castle in Fairhope AlabamaThe top of the turret is mesmerizing . . .



Mosher Castle in Fairhope Alabama

as are the winding stairs that lead to the princess perch. (There’s also a prince living in the castle. More on Cleveland Mosher another time).

 

IThe Fairhope Castle in Fairhope Alabama, owned and constructed by Dean and Pagan MosherIf you’re in Fairhope, the Moshers are always gracious hosts to those who want to photograph the outside of their house, and by contacting them through their web site, you can make arrangements to have a tour of the interior.

Detail of the Mosher Castle in Fairhope AlabamaUpon closer inspection to the exterior,  you can see fragments and mementoes of special items, some beautiful, some quirky, all interesting, melded into the exterior walls that protect our local story book family. There’s so much more to see than what I’ve been able to show you. I hope someday you’ll be able to tour this magical home for yourself. 

The Fairhope Castle in Fairhope Alabama, owned and designed by Dean and Pagan MosherA big thank you to the Moshers for allowing our group to tour their amazing home, and more thanks to them for being such tireless contributors to Fairhope’s thriving art scene. If anyone deserves the royal treatment, they certainly do. 

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For more information on The Fairhope Castle, visit their web site HERE.

For information on becoming a member of the Eastern Shore Art Center, so you can join us on our next trip, click HERE

 

  • This is fabulous! I’m in love with every detail but especially the turret room and the view out over all the roof lines. And you’re just darling, Leslie Anne, in your new red fairy tale slippers! I loved the tour!

  • Leslie Anne, your little town is just really special. I hope to get there one of these days.

    I didn’t realize until today that you had changed blogs! I wondered where you went and here you are sporting cute red tennie shoes! 🙂

    Thank you for joining us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Love having you.

    • Hey Stacey! I’ve just changed the name of the blog, but it’s still the same old me! So glad you found me and I’m glad you liked the castle tour!

  • Leslie, what a wonderful introduction to one of Fairhope’s unique homes!

    Your commentary summed the tour up perfectly and the photos were superb.

    I’m so glad that I joined the Art Center and am looking forward to many more delightful experiences!
    Sandy

    • Sandy, I’m so glad you’re part of the art center. It’s a great group of people and I hope you can join us on the next excursion!

  • HI Little Bitty Pretty One! You’re really rocking those red shoes! 😉 Oh, this house looks so magical! What fun too. I would love to tour it and I’m sure it has some stories to tell too! I was looking at the home owners cute little knees. Every since I got busted and chopped, I’m always looking at knees! 😉
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

    • Pagan’s a dancer, so she has exceptional knees and legs! Not that I stare or anything, but you know . . .
      Hope your knee is on the mend and you can dance around soon!

    • It’s funny, because the castles are in a fairly obvious place downtown, but they are tucked back beneath a magical forrest, so they are difficult to see. Keep searching!

  • Leslie Ann,
    Mike and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour – such a treat to see the castles and meet the Moshers! Thanks so much!
    Margaret Neely

    • I was so glad you were able to be there. It was a fun crowd and not too rowdy of a bunch! Hope to see you on future tours!

  • I loved your tour through the Castle. Now I have another reason to come to Fairhope! What an interesting, creative family.

    • It’s such a surprise to drive past and see it for the first time. You’ll love it when you see it in person.

  • It looks like it’s going to be a wet weekend, so I hope the festival isn’t washed out. You’ll definitely love seeing the castle, so hurry down another time!

  • Leslie Anne, I really enjoyed seeing this dwelling, how fascinating! It looks exactly like a fairy tale castle. Thanks for including the link, I would love to take a tour or at least tour the grounds.
    Hope you have a great weekend with the arts and crafts festival. I wanted to come but timing was off. I’ll look forward to you telling all about it.

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