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Winnekenni Castle

November 5, 2013
Winnekenni Castle in Haverhill, Massachusetts

Winnekenni Castle in early autumn

A Chemist’s Inspired Creation

Winnekenni Castle is located in the over 700-acre Winnekenni Park Conservation Area, overlooking Kenoza Lake, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Inspired by England’s long-standing stone structures, chemist Dr. James R. Nichols built the castle from native boulders and rocks between 1873 and 1875 as a summer home. He named it and the surrounding land “Winnekenni,” an Algonquin word meaning “very beautiful.”

The Interior

Quoted from the website:

The Haverhill Gazette in 1875 described the interior of the castle at the time. Below is a brief summary of what the castle looked like then.

  • The original structure contained a gothic door opening up to a spacious Grecian Drawing Room, a Pompeian style dining room, Roman-tiled, black-walnut finished library, in addition to a kitchen, sleeping room, storeroom and laundry.
  • A spacious stairway opened up to a hall on the second story that had entrances to nine bedrooms and a “bathing room.”
  • Access to the roof from the four towers.
  • From the roof of the castle at the time was a view of seventeen surrounding towns, three counties, three states, as well as Mt. Monadnock, Mt. Agamenticus in Maine and the ocean.
  • It is easy to see why Dr. Nichols chose this area for his summer residence.


In 1895, the property was sold to the city of Haverhill for recreational use. Until about 1920, the Castle was host to social and recreational events. Over time, it became little used and eventually was boarded up. A fire destroyed the elaborate Victorian interior and roof in 1967.

Citizens Unite!

As Dr. Nichols would be pleased to know, the exterior has withstood the test of time. With help from the students and faculty of Whittier Regional Technical High School, the outside was remodeled by the non-profit Winnekenni Foundation, formed by several citizens in 1968.

The Castle Today

Today, this favorite Haverhill landmark serves as a recreational park and offers events such as concerts, plays, workshops, craft fairs, Halloween parties, fundraisers and so much more.

Photo Info:

Camera:  Nikon D300
Lens:  Tokina 11-16mm
Exif Data:  1/400s, f/7.1, ISO 200, 12mm, 3-image exposure, HDR Tonemapped

For Licensing Information or to Purchase A Print:  Email Me!

Come back every Monday to see my latest “Single Shot Showcase”!

~ Liz Mackney

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