Kimball Castle to be Demolished in Lieu of Estate Planned Nature Preserve

estate planning, estate planning tipsA recent article in the Boston Globe cited another case of crumbling donor intent. The castle home of Benjamin Ames Kimball, who was President of the Boston, Montreal and Concord railways and president of several banks is up for sale for $799,000 and probably has a wrecking ball in its future.

Kimball built “Kimball Castle” in Gilford New Hampshire in the late 1890’s on Lake Winnipesaukee after castles he had seen on Germany’s Rhine River.

No one has lived in the castle since his daughter-in-law died in 1960. She left the estate and about $400,000 to a charitable foundation with the stipulation it create a nature preserve on the site and barring commercial development.

According to the Globe article the preserve was never built, the money vanished and in 1981 the New Hampshire Attorney General took control of the land and offered it to the City of Gilford to create and preserve the castle.

By that time much of the woodwork had been stolen and the castle was in tremendous disrepair. No one stepped in to save the castle. The town did not want to spend money to save it. The town administrators convinced the attorney general the only way to save the castle was to permit commercial development.

The court has ordered the castle demolished and the Board of Selectman will hold a public hearing on changes in the deed the new commercial owners propose, including ending the public’s right to access the property.

One cannot help but wonder how the Castle got to this point, who were the stewards in charge of the Kimball Castle legacy or why the town let it get to the point where there was no alternative but the demolition of a man’s castle and his dream of a legacy.


Patricia Annino is a sought after speaker and nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning.  She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about.  Annino recently released an updated version of her successful book, Women and Money: A Practical Guide to Estate Planning to include recent changes in the laws that govern how we protect our assets during and beyond our lifetime.  To download Annino’s FREE eBook, Estate Planning 101 visit,

Speak Your Mind