Gillette Castle State Park

Also known as: Seventh Sister
67 River Road, East Hadaam

A 24-room stone "castle" built as the home of actor William Gillette open for tours.


Gillette Castle 1

Photo taken by Chester Gehman in May 2016



Street View 


Gillette Castle was built for one of the most celebrated stage and screen actors of the early twentieth century--William H. Gillette (1853-1937.) His portrayal of Sherlock Holmes helped create the modern image of the detective, including the deerstalker cap, curved briar pipe, magnifying glass, and violin. His home, which he called the Seventh Sister, was named after the hill it was built upon. Designed by Gillette himself, it was completed in 1919. Gillette died in 1937, and the property was purchased by the state of Connecticut in 1943. There are a number of oddities designed by Gillette in the castle; unusual doorknobs and locks on the 47 doors, no two of which are alike; a system of hidden mirrors to view the public rooms from the master bedroom; and a narrow gauge railroad, over three miles long, with locomotives that Gillette designed himself.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 31, 1986
Reference number
NR name
Seventh Sister
Architectural styles
American Movement: Bungalow/Craftsman; Other architectural type; Medieval
Areas of significance
Architecture; Performing Arts
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current functions
Museum; Park
Period of significance
Significant years
1914; 1919
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 4
Non-contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • February 18, 2019: New photos from Chester Gehman
  • September 26, 2017: New Street View added by Brian Bartlett
  • February 3, 2017: Updated by Chester Gehman: Added NRHP record number
  • June 8, 2016: Added by Chester Gehman

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