Peter and I, and the VDARE Foundation board, are delighted to announce the acquisition of the historic Berkeley Springs Castle, aka the Samuel Taylor Suit Cottage, in the beautiful resort town of Berkeley Springs West Virginia.
Owning our own meeting space has been a goal for many years, and it’s truly an honor to have this achievement manifested in such a stunning and important property.
Built into the side of Warm Spring Mountain, surrounded by forested ridges and valleys and with a view of the natural hot springs where George Washington famously bathed, this stunning property represents the perfect combination of refinement and wilderness, the twin beauties of America’s cultural and natural resources.
In line with VDARE.com’s mission of being the voice for the Historic American Nation, it is our hope that this property will come to represent a first major step toward greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past, present and future. The VDARE Foundation values the strengthening of regional identities and local pride and the protection and celebration of America’s national heritage. This castle does both.
In researching this property, I read many accounts of the Castle’s history. One of the most illuminating was a small pamphlet titled Berkeley Castle by local postmaster and town historian Frederick T. Newbraugh. From the preface:
Old Castles, wherever they are located in the world, invite sagas of romance, intrigue, mystery, and thriller stories. The Suit Castle is no exception. Because so little is known and that so little is overshadowed by more interesting and entertaining hoax, it was exceptionally vulnerable to embellishment by those chroniclers of fiction and fantasy.
Frequently articles appear in neighborhood daily papers by eager beaver youthful reporters looking for an exciting story. They used quotation marks, the journalist’s escape hatch, as a preemptive disclaimer for inaccuracies in the story (poor reporting). They seldom retract or correct their stories and if they do it’s in the fine print. This hit-and-run journalism is bad because in years to come it will be repeated by another novice. Some have been so unreasonable that a seasoned writer would have been alerted to ask for references and if not satisfied seek second and third opinions. Then there is something called research.
Another charming line from Newbraugh can be found in his application for the spas of Berkeley Springs’ entry to the National Historic Register. He wrote, with regard to the building of the public bathhouses: “An assembly-room and theater were also constructed for the innocent and rational amusements for the polite who may assemble there.”
We hope to carry on that tradition at the Castle.
Of course, “hit-and-run” journalism has only gotten worse. We at the VDARE Foundation know this all too well.
And yet, despite hoax and disinformation, the castle stands. And despite smears and attacks, VDARE.com thrives.
This is due entirely to the generosity of readers like you.
Our donors are always generous and highly engaged, but 2019 was a special year. Several donors stepped forward in an unprecedented way. Each expressed a desire to make a material difference with their gifts. (Click here to donate, if you want to join in!)
Having a space where we can meet and share ideas without fear of deplatforming will make a difference so material it is hard to overstate. And for that we will be forever grateful.
Thank you, donors large and small, for making such a huge impact. We are enormously grateful to you–and everyone who is helping to keep America American.
A native Texan, Lydia Brimelow [email her] graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2006. She is fundraiser and office manager, lion tamer, fire extinguisher and miscellany handler at VDARE.com. She and Peter married in 2007 and have three daughters together.