Roadside America lists Coral Castle on their website along with other “Offbeat Tourist Attractions.”
Some of the roadside attractions on the site are interesting, and some of them are downright bizarre. Here are a few of my favorites:
–The World’s Largest Horseshoe Crab in Blanchester, Ohio
–The World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas
–Petrified Wood Gas Station in Lamar, Colorado
–Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia
Unlike most tourist attractions, Coral Castle wasn’t built with the intention to turn a profit. Ed had no interest in making money. He often let curious visitors in for free if they didn’t have the means to pay.
While Coral Castle often makes websites like RoadsideAmerica.com, it’s far more than just a tourist trap. Ed’s story sets Coral Castle apart from kitschy attractions like the ones I’ve listed. Coral Castle isn’t just a novelty, it’s a mysterious achievement that represents the hard work and dedication of one extraordinary man.
In early advertisements Ed described Coral Castle in broken English, referring to his life’s work as an “unusual accomplishment.”I can’t describe Coral Castle more accurately than Ed did. It is truly, an unusual accomplishment.
When the Crosley brothers were young, they watched their father lose his wealth in the Panic of 1893. Their home and their possessions were auctioned off, and the Crosley family moved north.
Powel Crosley, Sr. eventually regained his former financial status, but Powel, Jr. was still raised to work for everything he wanted.
Like his father taught him, Powel, Jr. worked hard through setbacks and losses, discouragement and failure. When this determination eventually paid off in wealth, Powel, Jr. had no qualms about rewarding himself and his loved ones.
Pinecroft was Powel’s dream house. At 13,300 square feet, every inch of the house was built to his specifications. Although the mansion was built in the style of an old English country house, it featured some lavish modern additions.
The property features a landing strip for airplanes, an enormous garage, an Olympic style swimming pool, a short golf course, tennis courts (flooded in the winter to make an ice-rink) and a man-made lake. The list goes on and on.
Powel eventually downsized his life, selling off yachts and vacation homes around the country. Even when his lifestyle settled down, Powel never parted with Pinecroft. He lived there until he died.
Pinecroft still stands today.
Find pictures of modern-day Pinecroft here.
One researcher is going beyond speculation to explain how Ed Leedskalnin could have built Coral Castle.
According to the website Leedskalnin.com, Matthew Emery’s magnetic current research comes from Ed Leedskalnin’s own theories. Drawing inspiration from some of Ed’s published pamphlets, Emery’s objective is to test these electro-magnetic theories through experimentation.
I admire anyone who is inspired enough to take the time and effort to do investigative research. It’s easy to come up with a conspiracy theory, but actually delving into a complex subject like this takes a lot of hard work.
Will this diligent researcher be the one to crack the secret of Coral Castle? Probably not, but I don’t blame him for trying.
The characters in Cincinnatus encounter lots of secret messages. While it makes for good fiction, the secret form of communication used throughout Cincinnatus actually exists.
Steganography is used to insert secret messages into digital images. You can only retrieve the message if you know where to look and have the key to decipher it.
The modern use of steganography with digital technology began around 1985. Steganographers can insert secret messages into videos, websites, pictures and sound files.
It sounds complicated, but you don’t have to be a spy or a computer genius to become a steganographer.
Click here to go to the Cincinnatus website and learn how to decode secret messages from images.
Cincinnatus is a work of fiction, but it’s based around real people and real places.
Did Ed Leedskalnin and Lewis Crosley really clink glasses and share secrets? No, but they might have if they ever crossed paths. Both men sure had some stories.
Is the Society of the Cincinnati actually embroiled in a plot to change the course of American history? Probably not, but with all the secrecy you never know.
Can you really golf in the middle of the ocean? Only if you’re a member of the Cat Cay Yacht Club.
Do attorneys and golfers join forces to uncover supernatural secrets and bust draconian plots? In my mind they do.
Plenty of interesting characters and story-inspiring settings already exist.
Suffering from writer’s block? Look around.
Want to see some footage of Coral Castle?
Click here for a brief video on the mystery behind Ed Leedskalnin’s creation.
The number of paranormal theories surrounding Coral Castle has always amused me. Instead of doing research, it’s much easier (and probably more fun) to come up with an outlandish explanation to a mystery.
Here are some of the more interesting theories-
- Alien intervention
- Anti-gravity machines
- Reverse polarity
- Electromagnetic energy
- Ingenuity and engineering
How did Ed Leedskalnin move more than 1,100 tons of coral rock?
Nobody knows, but I have a few ideas.
I would like to thank each reader who has taken the time to review my books on Amazon.com and Goodreads or connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.
To be honest, I’m more of a pen and paper person. I was hesitant to even get involved with social media, but ultimately I decided it was the best way to stay connected with my readers. If they were willing to take the time to review my books, I was willing to take the time to learn how to use Twitter.
I’m continuously encouraged by the reviews and comments I receive from readers around the country. On days when I never want to look at another computer, my readers remind me why I keep learning about unfamiliar technology.
If you’re technologically savvy (or even if you’re not) you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads to see what’s new, get updates on books and first notice of giveaways.
If you browse around the Society of the Cincinnati website, you might become less convinced that they are a secret society worth writing about. The society hosts tours of their mansion, they give away scholarships and you can even have your wedding at their headquarters.
None of that is very exciting.
However, the Society of the Cincinnati is an organization built on ideas like patriotism, preserving history and honoring our forefathers who fought for independence.
Those ideas have been inspiring stories for generations.
Cincinnatus: The Secret Plot to Save America is a work of fiction , but it’s based around real places, real people and a real secret society.
The Society of the Cincinnati you’ll find in Cincinnatus might be more exciting than the real thing, but who knows what goes on behind closed doors?
If you’re looking to unearth the secrets of a real secret society, good luck.
If you want to solve mysteries, save America and crack fictional secret societies tonight, read on.
In the past few years it seems like the “local” movement has grown stronger than ever. We’re encouraged to eat local, shop local and support local endeavors in any way we can.
To be honest, I’m not convinced you should buy something just because it was made in your state, or even your hometown. However, being an Ohioan and an author I was very interested to stumble on a “Read Local” campaign.
The idea is simple.
For every “Read Local” T-shirt sold by Outfit Good, a Columbus, OH based T-shirt company, part of the proceeds goes to support Columbus Creative Cooperative, a local resource for writers.
According to their website, Columbus Creative Cooperative holds writers’ workshops, publishes anthologies and hosts other writer oriented events.
What I find interesting is that there is no branding at all on these T-shirts. There’s no self-promotion, no logo and no website. The shirts simply bear the message– “Read Local.”
Check it out for yourself here.
I think that’s what caught my eye about this campaign. While most people use the “Local” idea to sell a product, Columbus Creative Cooperative is trying to use a product to support an idea–“Read Local.”
I still don’t expect someone from Cincinnati to buy one of my books just because I grew up there, but I am grateful for every local reader I have.
What do you think about “Reading Local”?
Where do you find inspiration?
It can be hard to come up with a steady stream of ideas. Some days you just don’t feel like writing, or nothing seems interesting enough to write about.
All writers experience slumps at one time or another, but the truth is story ideas are everywhere. Snippets of overheard conversations can inspire characters. With some work and an imagination, weird dreams and passing thoughts can become plots or storylines.
Sometimes it’s as simple as paying attention to what’s going on around you.
The idea for my book Coral Castle originated from a travel brochure and a lot of conspiracy theories. Material for Crosley came from the family history my grandfather and great uncle left behind. Cincinnatus was in part inspired by a real life secret organization called The Society of the Cincinnati. All of these subjects were things I found interesting.
Find the things that interest you and write about them. Chances are someone else will think they are interesting too. Just be sure to write everything down. The best story idea in the world can vanish with one spilled cup of scalding coffee.