2008-05-30 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

This Is What My Mother Called The 'Haunted House' In Far Rockaway
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev,Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

Solomon's Castle, aka Castle Las, was built by Louis A. Solomon, a wealthy New York merchant/businessman, who summered here in Far Rockaway with his family. The woodframe castle-like structure was built on Solomon's property, consisting of 212 acres of upland and marsh… on the present day Bayswater Park; West of Beach 32 Street above Beach Channel Drive.

The land was part of the John Cornaga Farm in 1776, and was later purchased by the pioneer Mott family. Far Rockaway Magistrate Edmund J. Healy was the owner before Solomon, who purchased it from Judge Healy in 1899. Solomon then demolished the old farmhouse, and built his own castle; the building size 48 x 60, with protrusions of architectural value! The new grounds around the house consisted of 35 acres. Flowers were grown in a large glasshouse nursery nearby, and not far was a stable of fine horses!

Louis Adilph Solomon was born in Mecklen, Germany in 1844 and came to America in 1866. With his brothers, Charles and Gustav, the trio opened a chemical and mineral business in New York, with offices at 216 Pearl Street in Manhattan. He died in June of 1916, and the building must have been sold, as it was reported as Kent Castle one time, a boarding house at another time, and as a haunted house in my mother's time. The place was reported as demolished in 1925.

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