Sylvan Lake artists want castle preserved

A pair of Sylvan Lake artists have asked for the Town’s help in preserving a 100-year-old castle in Sylvan Lake.

A pair of Sylvan Lake artists have asked for the Town’s help in preserving a castle in Sylvan Lake that’s said to have been built more than 100 years ago.

Mary Grace Toth and Marian Jacoba Shilka, addressing Town Council as a delegation on Monday night, said they’ve become concerned with the deteriorating state of the “Stone Castle” on 50A Avenue. And while they’ve had no luck contacting the property’s owner, rumblings of a potential sale have made them fear that the castle could soon be lost forever.

“We see this beautiful castle that’s been vacant for 10 years deteriorating day by day,” said Toth. “It’s in disrepair — windows and doors are boarded up, there are signs of vandalism, boards are broken and doors are damaged.”

The two said they’ve been “inspired by visions of what the castle could become,” and asked Town Council to consider enacting a bylaw that would protect and preserve the town’s oldest buildings, such as the castle and the “Stone House” on 46 Street.

“(The castle) could be a tourist attraction for downtown,” said Toth. “A museum, a gift shop, a tourist information centre — it could be many things that bring people to our town and that remind them of our history.

“We need your assistance in saving our castle for it to become a community resource, because it’s such a significant contribution to our history. It’s a very enchanting place.”

The stones that make up the castle, believed to have been built around 1905, were said to have been gathered from the shores of the lake.

Toth said two attempts to claim the castle as a historical site have been made in the past. Neither, she said, was followed through.