If you think people are curious about Coral Castle today, imagine what Ed Leedskalnin’s neighbors thought.
The appearance of a European man, new to the area and gaunt from tuberculosis, was enough to stir some talk in the town of Homestead, Florida. As he began his life’s work, speculation only grew.
Ed had load after load of coral rock delivered by to his new home.
Although Ed employed the help of a local man to obtain the rock, what he did with it after that remained a mystery to the town.
He remained elusive, often working at night with only a lantern or moonlight to light his progress. Some town residents even camped out around his property, trying to catch a glimpse of what Ed was working on.
Earl S. Lee was a boy when Ed Leedskalnin became his neighbor. Lee recalls watching Ed use a system of ditches, wedges and poles to shape, move and hoist the gigantic pieces of coral rock.
Despite explanations from those who knew Ed, skeptics are quick to point out implausibilities given the enormous weight of the rocks.
Some people even thought Ed was deliberately misleading his neighbors to hide the real secret of how he built Coral Castle.
Before it was even completed, Coral Castle was a mystery.
In April of 1906, Powel Crosley, Jr. failed out of engineering school.
He used $10,000 in investment money loaned to him by his father and his father’s friends, and started The Marathon Motor Car Company. One year later, Powel’s new company became a casualty in the Panic of 1907. The stock market crashed and the investment money was gone.
Powel went from president of his own company to cleaning cars in another man’s dealership. Even if he had to start back at the bottom, Powel was determined to work in an environment where he could be a part of the growing auto industry.
In 1911, Powel went to every man he knew in the car industry, hoping to secure a spot in the first ever Indianapolis 500. With no one willing to back him, Powel watched the race from the stands.
When Powel first met his wife Gwendolyn, he promised her she would one day have a Rolls Royce and a fur coat. With an infant son to support and more than a few failures so far, 25 year old Powel Crosley was under pressure to make something happen.
Still, he refused to abandon the ideas he’d been working on since he was a child.
It didn’t get easier, but Powel’s dogged perseverance kept him pushing through disappointments right up to his eventual success.
Even after he established a business empire, Powel worked just as hard as he had when he was 20.
After so many years of starting at the bottom, he knew what it took to stay at the top.
Growing up watching his father labor over hot tobacco fields, Powel Crosley read the Cincinnati Gazette and dreamed of life in the Ohio metropolis.
He read about Civil War industries like foundries and munitions plants. He read about gaslights and libraries, restaurants and bookstores.
Powel Crosley imagined all of these things he had never seen, and became determined to grow with the urban frontier.
At that time, education beyond a basic understanding of reading, writing and math was considered unnecessary for a farmer’s child. Helping in the field and on the farm was more important than spending time reading books.
Powel Crosley didn’t stop learning.
He was one of the first students to attend Springboro’s new high school, finally leaving his hometown to become a teacher. At 21, he was principal of the Clarksville, Ohio school district.
Eventually, Powel Crosley would have two sons-Powel Crosley, Jr., and Lewis Crosley.
Powel Crosley, Sr. imparted to his two sons the most important thing he had learned in a life dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge-
You never, ever quit.
Judging by the history books, the Crosley brothers listened to their father.
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’m pretty skeptical when it comes to free giveaways.
If it’s truly a giveaway, I don’t think you should have to jump through hoops, give out your credit card number or provide free advertising.
I’m currently hosting a giveaway on my Goodreads page that’s free, fair and easy to enter.
Enter to win one of three autographed hardcover copies of Cincinnatus.
There’s no gimmick or obligation. If you want to review one of my books while you’re there, that’s great. If you don’t want to, you can still enter the giveaway.
You can enter to win until midnight, Monday, April 7th.
I’m giving away three hardcover autographed copies of Cincinnatus.
Enter the Goodreads giveaway here.
This giveaway closes at midnight on Monday, April 7th. Entering is free, fast and easy. Don’t miss out on your chance to win a book.
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.
We can find out what’s going on half-way across the world almost instantly. Before you even set foot in another country you can learn the language, exchange your currency and reserve a hotel room.
Traveling wasn’t so convenient in 1912.
On March 23, 1912, Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin could only imagine what America would be like as he boarded a ship bound for New York City.
He arrived at Ellis Island sixteen days later with eighty dollars in his pocket. With no ties to anyone, Ed traveled for the next eleven years. In his wanderings around the U.S. he learned the language, learned the people and learned how to make a living.
Ed arrived in Florida in 1923, finally intending to build a home and settle down. It’s here where the records of Ed’s life become intertwined with the stuff of conspiracy theories and tall tales.
The mystery surrounding Ed Leedskalnin led me to write Coral Castle, but as I learned more about him I found the first part of his life was just as inspiring.
I can only imagine the courage it must have required for Ed to leave his home and become a stranger in another country. He worked hard and learned from each job he took and each place he visited.
Engineers, conspiracy theorists and journalists have all wondered how Ed built Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida.
I’m pretty impressed with how he got there.
In August of 1899, Powel Crosley had an idea for a car.
At thirteen, gathering materials to build a prototype wasn’t going to be easy. His father was skeptical and offered no assistance to his son. (Although he did promise a ten dollar reward if the car could run a block.)
Powel enlisted the help and savings of his younger brother, Lewis. The pair roamed around Cincinnati, OH to gather the parts Powel had designed.
After a few weeks of hard work and false starts, Lewis drove their newly invented vehicle down the block. The rest is history.
The Crosley brothers didn’t stop at a good idea. They didn’t let doubt, lack of money or the frustration of trial and error convince them to give up.
If you have a good idea, and you’re lucky enough to know it’s a good idea, don’t hesitate, don’t procrastinate and don’t quit.
If the Crosley brothers had given up all those years ago you’d probably be reading about someone else right now.
Good ideas are everywhere, but what good are they if you never act on them?
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.