Piatt CastlesEdit profile
The Piatt Castles, built by brothers Donn and Abram S. Piatt in the 1860s and 1870s, are two chateaux built in a Gothic design, located 1 mi (1.6 km) and 1.75 mi (2.82 km) east of the village of West Liberty in Logan County, Ohio, United States. They are open to the public. In 1982, the Castles were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Piatt Family
The Piatt family descended from France as French Huguenots who wished to escape religious persecution in a Catholic nation. Upon moving to the United States, the family took root in the colony of New Jersey, where the grandfather of Abram and Donn, Jacob Piatt, offered support to the country in the American Revolutionary War. As reward for his deeds, the newly-founded government gave Jacob land in Kentucky, where he built his home.
While Jacob was a farmer and his son Benjamin was a lawyer, the family was also involved in flat boat trading up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers as well as real estate. By 1828, Benjamin had moved his family to Logan County, Ohio. It was here that he built a log cabin for his family. At the time of their move to Logan County, Donn was 9 years old and Abram was 7.Castles
Mac-O-Chee (the home built by Donn, and designed by John L. Smithmeyer) and Mac-A-Cheek (built by Abram) were begun in 1864. Mac-A-Cheek was completed in 1871, and Mac-O-Chee completed in 1879. The homes were built only about 3/4 of mile apart from each other. Abram's home was built slightly smaller, but is more secluded and set away from the road. Donn's home is larger and sits closer to the road. Both homes have three stories and towers, boast painted ceilings, and have intricate woodwork.Public tours
Tours began in 1912 at Mac-A-Cheek four years after the death of Abram. When William McCoy Piatt (the fourth son of Abram) inherited the home, many unwanted visitors would walk the grounds of the odd house. In response, William chose to charge admission, assuming the visits would stop. Little did he know that people were willing to pay to come in. Thus the family got into the tourist business, though it was a minor industry compared to the farm and grist mill located on the property.
Touring continued with the family living in the home until 1985, when the family moved out of their home.
Both Castles are popular sites for weddings, receptions and other events.Bibliography
- Bridges, Peter. "Donn Piatt: Diplomat and Gadfly." In American Diplomacy at http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/item/2007/0103/life/bridges_piatt.html.
- Riley, James Whitcomb. "Donn Piatt of Mac-o-chee." Complete Poetical Works of James Whitcomb Riley (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1993), 321.