FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — In a land not far away from the bustle of modern-day happenings is an enchanted place perfectly nestled and nearly hidden in Downtown Fairhope.
The whimsy of these castles attracts the curious looking for the unexpected. A glass bottle, a saw blade, a crab, exquisite art and a dish can be seen woven inside the building’s stonework.
You may be surprised to find these embedded items are “broken” pieces of The Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall. Fueling the amusement of discovery, the myriad of creatures, some mythical staring back at you.
This Fairhope Fairytale dream started in 1946 when Craig Sheldon, a carpenter, master wood carver and World War II Marine veteran used his skills and imagination to build what would become a home for his wife and children. Pagan Mosher and her two siblings grew up in the tower of Sheldon castle.
“Mom and dad had no funds. So they did everything by recycled materials,” said Mosher. “The shingles on the roof are different colors because they didn’t have money for shingles. So dad went to different construction sites to put whatever was left, mixed them up, shingled.”
The large stones were harvested from Mobile Bay, all 75 tons.
“Dad built the tower to finally get us out of their bedroom, and it’s three stories tall. I like to tell people if I had more siblings, it’d be much taller.”
Pagan would marry renowned artist, Dean Mosher. The couple bought a property a stone’s throw from Sheldon’s castle.
“Well, my wife grew up in the tower next door. So, I married Rapunzel and she wanted a castle,” said Dean.
Her Prince Charming had special gifts much like her father and began the magical transformation of granting her wish to “Castle-ize” the property into what is now known as Mosher Castle.
Like all good castles, Mosher castle has hidden spaces. Inside the tower, behind what appears to be a plain wall is a secret door.
At the base of the stairs of the tower is what’s known as a priest hole. The secret places date back to the days when Catholic families in England hid priests to protect them from persecution.
Today, Hendrix the dragon guards Mosher Castle. He watches as visitors cross the drawbridge spanning across a moat leading to Dean’s studio inside.
The Moshers fancy the adventures of living in a castle even adding Boom’s Hobbit castle where their friends share their love of spreading magic, and Sheldon’s Legacy of embracing life and fun. Their greatest wish is for one to imagine their fairytale your own.
“Let it be whatever, whatever storybook that person loves, so storybook castles, so they can make it their favorite,” said Pagan.
Dean completed a third castle in 2020 and he’s still adding onto Mosher castle.
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“It makes people happy. What better gift can you leave the world than it makes people happy,” said Dean. “If lifts their mood and inspires their imaginations. So, I don’t..I don’t see a higher calling you could have really.”
For more information on how you can visit Fairhope’s Storybook Castles, click here.