Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester

On Sunday, August 1, we visited the Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester, MA.

Odd place—built from 1926–29 by the Hammond Radio guy as a wedding gift to his wife, and in 1930 opened as a museum.

After we paid our admission, the money-taker person said, “Enjoy the museum. See you when you get back next week.” I took this as an omen of weird things to come.

Imagine a medieval castle replica that, since 1930, has never been, um…cleaned.

Imagine wandering through endless mazes of rooms filled with hundreds of dust-filled relics and having to admire the ceiling plaster that’s fallen on top of them.

Imagine taking the spiral staircase to the tower floors, only to find that there’s no ventilation, so 80 years of visitors’ body odor is trapped in the stagnant air. Particularly alluring on a hot August day.

Imagine entering the breathtaking entrance to the Great Hall, only to be greeted by another indistinguishable stench. (And they hold weddings/receptions in that hall. Seriously.)

I can’t detail the museum items in my photos because, well, it seems the museum doesn’t feel the need to describe their items. So we had no idea what we were looking at. And there were no employees to be found anywhere (once you pass the demon money-taker). In one of the rooms, we encountered a medieval tapestry that seemed authentic, but we’ll never know if it was—etc.

Click for photos of Hammond Castle Museum from August 1, 2010

Since the museum is in the Massachusetts fishing town of Gloucester, afterward we traveled wee further south to Manchester-by-the-Sea, a seaside town I’ve always wanted to visit. Before visiting, the only thing I knew about Manchester-by-the-Sea is that parts of the (forgettable) film State and Main were filmed there. And the only reason I knew that is because back in the day I worked on the soundtrack to that (forgettable) film for RCA Victor. After visiting, I now also know that it’s a very quaint and pretty town.

Click for photos of Manchester-by-the-Sea from August 1, 2010

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