When I say the Castle, most people think about Layton Castle. Believe me, Monroe once had two castles. The second rivaled Layton’s in opulence and grandeur. The spot where it stood at 311 North 3rd street, is now used car lot. Augustus H. “Gus” Bernhardt designed his home at the turn of the century and over many years, built the home in his spare time. In the September 24, 1908 Monroe Daily Star, Fannie Trousdale described the home:
“Beginning with the basement which is built of green enameled brick… and they cost 15 cents a piece laid down (speaking of ‘gold bricks’) contains besides the apparatus for steam heating, a gymnasium and pool room and a vault for valuables.:
“The first floor in which the door knobs, hinges, etc., are of 14 karat gold, has a long hall running both ways and contains parlor, library, dining room and a den.”
“The second floor has great halls and seven bedrooms, with cut glass door knobs, and the fourth floor, which is as cool and breezy as a seaside resort, commands a lofty view of the city and has five bedrooms.”
It was built at a cost of $60,000, which you can imagine what that is in today’s money! It became the scene of many social events in Monroe! Unfortunately, it was not maintained and fell into disrepair. It was too far gone to bring back. The family razed the Castle in 1954.