There used to be a castle (chateau) in Little Rock, Ar. It is located I believe on a street called David O. Dodd, I am not for sure of the street name. It has been years since I have been there. It had a miniture drawbridge, and the house was set back in the woods. You really couldn't see much of it from what I remember. Maybe it is something you might like to check out.
Later, I received E-Mail that said:
There is a castle in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a small castle set right next to David O. Dodd elementry on Stagecoach Rd. I do not know the name of it I just know that it is privately owned. I wish that I had more information for you.
Later, I received E-Mail that said:
I have some information about the "unknown castle" in Little Rock, AR located on East David O. Dodd rd. The Castle was brought to Little Rock from Scotland around the time of the Civil War and has been privately owned and maintained since then. Because this castle is just right down the road from where i live, i'm quite sure i could get some pictures of it and more detailed information about the name and history of the structure
Later, I received E-Mail that said:
My mother got to know the family who still owns the "Castle" property, the Rognruds, in the mid 1960s. According to my mother, the "Castle" was built by a prominent physician in the Little Rock area in approximately the 1920s. It was not brought over from Scotland, as the information on your web-site suggests.
In addition, my mother claimed that the place was all but abandoned and had grown up and become run down during her teenage years in the 1940s and early 1950s. The Rognrud family then bought "The Castle" sometime in the 1960s, remodeled the place, and (to my knowledge) some member of their family has lived there ever since.
Later, I received E-Mail that said:
After reading the previous email messages posted to your website describing this house, I can't express how surprised I was to see rumors of ghosts, bogus Scottish origins and other nonsense about "the castle". Below are the true facts and conditions of the house and as I am able to better define date/name details by obtaining information from family members
OWNERSHIP: The Rock House, it's environment and history need no fantasy embellishment to make it more charming than it already is. The Rock House's address in the 50's and 60's was 983 Stagecoach Road, so I don't know if the city of Little Rock has seen fit to change the address since the area has grown more populated and the city limits have grown closer to the house. The house was originally built by a prominent dentist named Dr. Coke (Koch? - correct spelling unknown at this time) as the "dream home" for his wife in the early 1940's. By the late 40's, the home was owned and occupied by the Gus Walton, Sr. family. My family (Raines/Hutson's) owned the house from 1952/53 to 1963, and thereafter it was purchased by the Rognrud family. The Rognrud's are the current owners and residents of the house. The home has been owned and lived in by 4 different families since it was built.
The Rock House was never abandoned. In the 40's and 50's, the 500 acres of land crowned by the The Rock House were primarily pastures and woodlands bordered partially in the front by David O'Dodd Elementary School, and because the owners preferred the natural condition, the Walton's and Hutson's allowed the grounds to retain a "natural" look with minimal manicuring. The house was entirely covered with English ivy at that time and could scarcely be seen from Stagecoach Road. Perhaps the house is getting noticed more at this time because the Rognrud's cut down the growth and prefer a highly manicured style, thereby making the house clearly visible from the main road.
During the "abandonned period" of 1953-1963, there were 12-15 Hutson family members living in the house, making it a very lively place indeed! (There were 10 children in the Hutson family, plus parents - not to mention grand-children, in-laws, and overnight guests!) I remember the house filled with teenagers and young people at all times. We often hosted dances in the enormous basement for the local high school and enjoyed enormous holiday parties during those years. There were always plenty of riding horses for the pastures and trails, as well as elegant show horses stabled at The Rock Barn, as the Hutson family was intricately involved and well known in the horse-world at that time.
PROPERTY: In my opinion, the back side of the house is more beautiful than the front. From the back you can see the magnificent stone terrace overlooking the sloping yard, pastures, and woodlands. Also from the back, the round turret and Rapunzel-like balcony are prominent features. There is a charming winding road not visible from the public road that runs through an archway under the house, leading to the Rock Barn. Hidden by the trees, is a stately stone bridge over a running brook leading directly from the house to the Rock Barn. Other matching stone structures include the Rock Barn, 2 pump/well houses, and a Guest House on the far side of the Rock Barn.
On the interior of the house, there are 20-foot beamed ceilings, natural stone floors in several parts of the house, huge European style fireplaces, winding staircases in which every step is an natural slab of stone, old-fashioned dumb-waiters, an enormous basement with fireplace and dungeon, an attic full of wonders, a circular walnut library inside the turret worthy of a medieval scholar, and -yes- at least one secret room!
Later, I received e-Mail that said:
I recently saw this property listed in the newspaper as being for sale, I believe the cost was 5 million dollars, and includes, I think 80 acres, most of which is now being leased out to for cattle ranching. It is beautiful. I live about 30 miles from it, but used to live just down the street from it.
On 6-21-05, I received E-Mail that said:
I was a "wild child" of The Castle and it's grounds from approximately 1953-1960. There were four Hogue children, 3 Garner children, 1 Ellis child.....all residents of East David O. Dodd Rd, a gravel lane beside Mr. Dicus' grocery store that led to the stables on The Castle grounds. We were friends with the Hutson children.....Chi Chi being the most familiar to me. My most vivid memories are of the summers.....hopping barefoot along the gravel lane to reach the grass lawns.....and feeling like we had reached our own little paradise.
The main entry was off of Stagecoach Rd and it actually looked like a drawbridge.....heavy chains, etc......the drive curved down to the rock bridge over a brook, and continued under part of the house......thru an archway. Curved steps led to a massive front door where us children did not hesitate knocking for entry......and, the door was usually answered by some of the Hutson children. I recall that the exterior walls were "three feet thick" stone and the windows were deeply inset. Bare feet ran on natural stone floors and natural stone steps of the curved staircase.....going up or down.
We children must have respected the family privacy upstairs....I never remember going up there. I know the boys wing was thru a hallway over the arched tunnel.....a place that sometimes reminded me of "The Lost Boys" in Peter Pan. I remember the cool basement....wonderful in the hot summertime......and a juke box.....and trying to rock n' roll like the teenagers. There was another large wooden door that opened from the basement to patios and a fish pond out back.......rock, of course. I have some memories of seeing gold fish in a 1-foot deep pond......but, I have more memories of us children swimming in that pond.....don't ask me what happened to the gold fish! We played croquet on the back lawn and we rode the horses bareback......2 and 3 children at a time. Yes, it was a castle.......and we saw the dungeon.....including arm and leg chains on the walls.....or was that a trick the Hutson boys played on us. Who knows?
On 11-13-06, I received E-Mail that said:
I don’t know how recent the email was on the sale of the Rock House. I grew up in Little Rock not far from the Rock House and always admired it (I even called the resident’s to see if they would allow me to get married there – it was an understandable no). My father called me today to let me know he just heard it was for sale for $3 million. I really don’t know much else – it would make a great B&B if anyone is willing to put it together.
On 7-20-08, I received E-mail that said:
The castle is on Stagecoach Road, which is also State Highway 5 (West or South I’m not sure, but it basically parallels I-30 West). David O. Dodd Road, named after a hanged 17 year-old Confederate spy, intersects Stagecoach near the Castle. It is a pleasant rural (but urbanizing) road, linking several major county roads to the west and north of Stagecoach. Dodd does run a short way behind the castle, on the other side of about 40 acres of lawn, but I’ve never seen the castle from that section of Dodd.
Stagecoach Road is so named because of the historic house nearest the castle to its southwest. A bricked, shaded, quietly elegant, two-story rectangular structure, maintaining its period look even after several renovations, it was built to serve a major stagecoach stop between the Little Rock area and Hot Springs. The stagecoach line was probably an important link to other points to the west and southwest as well. The house is too big to have served only horses, drivers and travelers on the 60-70 mile trek to and from Hot Springs. Additionally, other roads from the west and southwest (including the road to Texarkana) linked with highway 5 just south of Benton. The Stagecoach House and the Castle, from a stagecoach-era perspective, would have been easily 15-20 fairly rugged miles from downtown Little Rock, especially when including side-trips for stops on the way.
Twenty years ago, about 1988, I attended a local company’s outdoor performance of “The Pirates of Penzance” on the grounds of the castle. It was a grand experience, in every way. It was a real treat to look around and see judges and city fathers and mothers enjoying the opera from their quilts spread on the manicured rolling knolls, with the castle as the performers’ backdrop. Other such events have not occurred since then, I am reasonably sure. I heard that the castle changed hands shortly after the opera. If so, therein may lie the reason. It’s an excellent location for certain outdoor entertainments.
On 11-6-10, I received e-mail that said:
Today, a co-worker of mine was in my office. Knowing I am originally from Arkansas, he brought up a story he recently heard on NPR about a castle in Arkansas and was wondering if I knew anything about it. I must have had a little smile on my face because he said “What?” I asked if the castle was in Little Rock. He said he wasn’t sure. I then told him that if it was the castle in Little Rock, my paternal grandfather, Dr. Clarence William Koch, built the castle sometime in the 1920’s or early 30’s. I know it was prior to he and my grandmother getting married but am not sure of the exact year.
I never got to see the inside of it, but when I was a child in the late 70’s, I used to take riding lessons just a couple of miles from the castle. I loved driving by it and couldn’t wait to see it each time. It was such a place of magic and mystery! My mother sent me the article advertising the sale of the castle last year. I had no idea so few families had actually owned it. It was great to read all the information you posted…thanks for sharing and providing some missing history!
On 11-20-10, I received e-mail that said:
The Rock house castle in Little Rock was also used in the 70's horror film, " So Sad About Gloria". My friend's father, Robert Ginnaven was involved in the project. I used to drive by the place every week on my way to my horse riding lessons. It is a beautiful home.
On 6-18-13, I received e-mail that said:
Here is a link regarding the castle on Stagecoach Road in Little Rock, Arkansas
Back to "Castles of the United States"
A special thanks to Rick D for sending in the photos.