HELDERBERG CASTLE

The viewing tower
The main building

I received E-Mail that said:

I stumbled upon your wonderful website one evening this past winter in a desperate attempt to find information about a castle I had "discovered" near our new home. We had gone out for a ride to show friends our new surroundings, and as we rode up into the "Helderbergs", as the hills here are called, I spied what looked like the ruins of a castle perched way up on a peak overlooking the valley. No one else saw it, but my imagination took over, and from that moment on I have been dying to get a closer look. Well, I finally found a route that took me right up to the site- and it is truly breathtaking. Settled in among trees and brush, and perched on the edge of the mountain, is the most captivating set of ruins I have ever seen. The castle was built of stone, and stairways, windows, arched doorways, and partial rooms still exist. More may actually be intact- it's just that someone has a house on the property with many less-than-friendly "keep off", "no tresspassing" "private" etc. signs posted all over. I would have gotten out to explore, but felt a bit threatened. Anyway- the site is just beautiful, and I could hear the clash of swords and see banners waving in the turrets. The ruins are obscured by foliage right now, but I have been up several times- I just feel drawn. Happily, the New Scotland, NY Historical Society has just published a history of the area, and I did find reference to the castle!

Here's the scoop:
Helderberg Castle, or "Federalberg" was built by Bouck White in the 1930's. He was a philosopher, pottery-maker, minister, artist, poet who created his secret recipe "no firing" pottery in the castle for sale to tourists. The castle was partially destroyed by fire in 1944. It is located on aptly named Castle Road, off of Indian Ledge Road in New Scotland or New Salem New York.

I don't know who owns the property at this point. I am going to try to find out more. The book said the castle was "partially destroyed". leaving me to hope that there are some rooms actually intact. I am also hopeful that if you post this information, someone will be able to tell us more.

I do recommend to anyone going into the woods that they be sure that hunting season is closed and refrain from smoking.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

I am the owner of the "Helderberg Castle" near New Salem in the Town of New Scotland, Albany County, New York State. The information you have about Bouck White is correct. There are several structures on the property: the ruins of Bouck White's home/pottery studio, which comprises mainly crumbling rock walls surrounded by lilacs; a somewhat gothic-looking viewing tower that can be seen from the intersection of routes 157 and 85 when the leaves are off the trees; and two small stone rooms that were developed into a private home during the last half of the 20th century. I purchased the property in 1995.

I am sending a photo of what has come to be called the "Helderberg Castle" (although the builder, Charles Bouck White, a well known radical socialist, would probably groan at this appellation). This photo is of the viewing tower, which sits on the Helderberg escarpment, 15 miles SSW of Albany, overlooking the Mohawk/Hudson valley.

I am also sending a photo of the ruins of the main building, which was the home of the builder. The irregular construction of the stone buildings is attributable to Bouck White's aversion to "mechanization" and commitment to "natural form". Since a fire damaged the main building in the 1940s, perhaps 10 years after these buildings were constructed, the two small stone rooms were combined and extended to become a modest house which is not at all castle-like. The tower and the ruin are not visible from the public road, and the property is a private residence. Regrettably, public access cannot be permitted. Further information may be obtained from the Historical Society of the Town of New Scotland.

The property is a private residence, as are the surrounding properties, and we appreciate our privacy being respected.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

Just thought you might like to know I have just started a web site that deals with the Helderberg Castle and its owner. It's www.bouckwhite.com
When the castle was on the market almost ten years back, I was interested in purchasing it, but a family member was dubious. She changed her mind...just when it was too late.

On 7-11-05, I received E-Mail that said:

My husband and I attended an Open House at Helderberg Castle in New Scotland, NY yesterday simply out of curiosity to see it. I did walk up the stairs of the viewing tower. At the top, there is a spectacular 360-degree view. There are several stone structures on the grounds including a steam room, the castle ruins, chapel ruins, etc. The viewing tower and castle ruins are not habitable, simply beautiful stone structures to look at. The structures that you have pictured are for sale with the house. There's a postcard picture of the castle at: http://www.bouckwhite.com/BouckWhite/Castlex.html

On 10-15-12, I received e-mail that said:

I did a search for Helderberg Castle to find out more info and came across your site. The Castle was just listed today for sale. Here is a link:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=pcb.552421244785044&type=1

The home that contains the ruins on the 4.4 acre site is 2,500 square feet, 2BR 1 BA and all for only $179,900. Just thought you might like to know!

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