UNKNOWN CASTLE ??

SIBLEY CASTLE ??

I received E-Mail that said:

I'm looking for a castle that I heard of, but my information is limited. I know that it is called River Ridge. It's located about a mile or two North of Oil City, PA. This is about an hour north of Pittsburgh where my son is attending college. I would love to take my wife for an overnight stay (which I know they do). Any help?

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

In reference to a castle in Oil City, PA. It is actually located between Oil City and Franklin, Pa along the Allegheny River. It was built as the Seeley (sp) Mansion or Seeley Castle. It is now own by a Christian organization and used as a retreat. Yes you can stay there as individuals or as groups. I have some information tucked away somewhere as we went there on a field trip a few years back. As soon as I find that info I will forward it on to you. You may be able to get info from the Franklin Chamber of Commerce also.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

Friends of ours run RiverRidge Estate, affectionately known as the Castle. It was the Siberly Estate and then was sold to the White Fathers and then to Life Ministries, Inc. (it is used for Church retreats etc) GuidedTours are available by appointment and the history and background of the Siberly Estate is fascinating. One of our Presidents was a guest there. The Castle with it's gatehouse etc is beautiful. Get in touch with Rich Tygert, President of Life Ministries at 814-437-6251

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

The Unknown Castle between Oil City and Franklin, PA is the Sibley Mansion. It was built by Joseph C. Sibley in 1913. It may be referred to as River Ridge as well. http://www.victorianregion.com/vr_franklin3.htm

My daughter and I toured the Sibley Mansion a few days ago. Tours are not regularly scheduled so any one wanting to visit it is encouraged to contact them in advance for any tours that maybe coming up. As the Mansion is now the property of the Life Ministeries, it is fairly well booked up for retreats and is often used for as conference center.

The outer building is all of stone and is quite spectacular but the inside is rather austere in comparison. Unfortunately when the building was used by the Catholic Church, many of the upper rooms were divided into bedrooms and such.

After Mr. Sibley's death in 1926, the original furnishings were removed to a warehouse in Franklin, PA which later burned and all the contents were destroyed.

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Photo courtesy of Barb Seitz.