I received E-Mail that said:

I am not sure of the names of the homes, but there are a couple of houses that were smaller castles in Scotland in the 1600s that were disassembled and brought to Kirtland Hills, in Lake County, Ohio. Both homes have been added onto for modern convenience. The one has the original portion as period correct.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

Just wanted to drop you a line about the unknown castle in Ohio in Kirtland Hills. Back when I was a teenager, I attended a recital by my piano teacher there and also was given a full tour of the facility. It was simply fabulous inside. I recall that it was called either Hilo Farm or Hillo Farm. I am looking for the place now because a good friend of mine has a young son interested in castles.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

Last weekend I took it upon myself to track down the truth behind the email reports you list of an unknown castle in Kirtland Hills, Ohio. I found it, but I don't think it really counts as a castle for your purposes. Hilo Farm is a collection of Tudor style cottages and out-buildings arranged in a rough circle behind a low stucco wall with several huge wooden gates in it, at the corner of Little Mountain Road and Hartl Road in Kirtland Hills. There is one round tower in the compound, but it is windowless, suggesting a grainery. It is all very quaint, and I guess the buildings could have been imported from Scotland, as your report suggests, but it could just as easily been built in the 20's as a rich man's country folly. It would be a great site for a rennaissance faire, but a castle..... I'm afraid not.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

I myself grew up on Hilo Farm. It is not a castle but it was a working farm at one time. The main house or mansion is over 500 years old and was brought over piece by piece from England. It was resembled in another part of Ohio then it was bought by Leonard C. Hannah. He had already bought the property on the corner of Little Mt. Rd. and Hart Rd. He thought this house would be ideal for a main house on his farm. The house you see from the road is the gate house. The small cottages that connect to this building were for pigs, chickens, sheep and one building was the creamery. There is also a smokehouse. The other buildings on the property were the managers house and the greenhouse. This was not a castle but the style was taken from England. The other homes were all built in the late 1920's. The property also contains a covered bridge and stable area. I hope this clears up some of your information.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

My sister recently sent me a link to your website. Needless to say, we got a big kick out of seeing our childhood home on your website. The property at the corner of Little Mountain and Hart Rd. in Kirtland Hills always felt like a castle to us. It is actually the entrance or "gatehouse" to the the old Leonard C. Hanna Estate (built in late 20's early 30's. Your information is mostly correct but you missed a whole other part of the estate. The estate was originally 350-360 acres. It is known as "Hilo Farm" (for its hi and lo rolling landscape)....there is a main house in the back (that cannot be seen from the main road, as it is all private).

The main house is accessed via the only covered bridge in the county. Additionally, there is a horse stable w/3 living units, a large (once olympic-sized) pool with "his and her" cabana. There is also a clay tennis court. The main house is from the 1400's and was originally brought over piece by piece from Ashford, England by a gentleman named Joseph Wanamaker (Wanamaker Dept. Stores) . It is considered to be the oldest home in the state. It was first re-assembled at Hillbrook Country Club in Hunting Valley, Ohio in the 20's. The property was going to be torn down when Hanna's friends persuaded him to move it to his Hilo Farm estate and turn it into his main house. Once it was reconstructed there, additional wings were added to modernize the home. In 1961, my grandparents had purchased the enitire estate. It was subdivided with other homes added throughout the property. We lived there up unto 1999 when we sold our last remaining portion of it. It was always special to us.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

I have just perused your website and would like to add the following info to the "Unknown Castle" which is not a castle, in Lake County, Ohio.First, Hilo Farms, in the Kirtland Hills was the home of Leonard C. Hanna JUNIOR, who died in 1957, not Leonard Hanna Sr, his father. Anyone interested in a copy of his obituary can contact the archives of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He died in September.

Secondly, I don't know who -- if anyone -- owns the property -- today. There are pictures of the estate on file with National Historic Preservation. It is number 79001870 on the federal registry and the Ohio offices also have photos. It was officially listed on 3/12/1979. As of that date, not than 20 years after his death, Hilo was still the property of the estate of Leonard C. Hanna Jr. an on going enterprise which exists to this day (2004) to benefit the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The info about the provenance of the small cottages and the main residence is correct. The buildings were original, and from England.

On 8-18-08, I received e-mail that said:

For many years (80s and 90s), my aunt and uncle owned the gatehouse and several acres around it, including the outbuildings and the dove cote and cobblestone courtyard. They did a lot of work to the house and outbuildings, including the addition of an art studio above the garage, which used to be part of the area for barnyard animals (next to the creamery).

Thanks to a meowing cat, and a firewall that separated the garage/barn area from the main house (they are all connected), my aunt survived a fire that demolished the newly renovated area, which we think was originally the barn loft, where hay was kept. I can recall that it was very difficult for them to find authentic clay tiles when they repaired the roof.

As a family, we spent many holidays there over the years, and I often would spend a week at a time with my aunt in the summers. The inside is all dark wood with heavy beams in the ceiling, especially on the lower floor. The basement has many rooms, and there is also a huge vault. There is also a one-bedroom apartment on the other side of the heavy front gate.

When they were renovating the gatehouse., my aunt and uncle found and old envelope addressed to Mr. Hanna from COLE PORTER. They actually framed it and put it in the apartment/guest suite. It was rumored that Gloria Swanson lost her earring at the pool there. Leonard lived in the gatehouse while the main house was being assembled on the property. also, after you cross the covered bridge and before you get back to the pool area at the main house, there is a carriage house/stable on the right which had been converted into apartments

The people who own it now have done a lot of work. you can hit north, south, east, west to see different views on Zillow.com.


There used to be a pool beside the house, but it looks like they filled it in and put a new one in next to one of the outbuildings down the lane. The main house is south of the gate house. If you go to bird's eye view, you can see it and the covered bridge.

On 8-14-14, I received e-mail from Becky that said:

I stumbled upon your site and read the comments (with great fondness) about the Hanna estate in Kirtland Hills, Ohio (in Unknown Castles). I grew up right across the street from the Hanna estate when I was a teenager from 1970 to 1984. The street Hilo Farm was directly behind my house on Little Mountain Road. My parents recently sold their home to downscale and it was a magical place to grow up. As a young girl, I crossed the covered bridge and roamed the estate and gatehouse without permission until I was approached by an elderly woman, Mrs. Hanna. Mrs. Hanna then gave me the grand tour of the house and property, giving account of all the important dignitaries and silent film stars that vacationed at the estate. At the time, I did not know how important she was...I just considered her my friend, almost like a grandmother. We spent hours looking at vintage post cards in the gate house and strolled through her gardens. I learned a lot about how things work, about being an independent woman, her family history and life in general, sitting at her feet, while I played with her small dog. Through the years, I often thought about Mrs. Hanna and her kindness. She was a wonderful lady. I wish I kept in touch and I hope she's looking down from Heaven smiling at my appreciation of lessons about life. Thank you, Mrs. Hanna.

{{Castlefinder note!}}
Now that I've seen a photo, I'm not sure this is what I think of as a castle.

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