Edward Leedskalnin was a Latvian immigrant, who settled in Florida in 1919. The story goes that he was jilted by his fiancé the day before they were to be married. Reported to only have a grade 4 education, he worked in lumber camps prior to seeking the warmer climate of Florida. His move to Florida City is said to have been a decision made after he contracted Tuberculosis. He started building a monument to the Latvian girl who broke his heart. He called her his “sweet sixteen” and the structure, “Rock Gate Park”.
Ten years after his work started, he hired a truck and moved the structure to Homestead, Florida – where it rests today and is known as the Coral Castle. Until his death in 1951 Leedskalnin worked alone, under the cover of darkness, ever expanding his strange monument.
So what you say? Ponder this – this is a man with virtually no education. Working alone, and only at night so as not to be observed, he somehow managed to quarry and move 1,100 tons of rock. Some pieces of rock weigh 30 tons. His only tools; timber and something he fashioned from an old Ford motor. He erected a 9 ton revolving door, so perfectly balanced it could be turned with the push of a finger.
Eventually he opened Coral Castle up for tours; something he charged 10 cents for. This however was not built as a tourist attraction; it was his home. When asked how he accomplished it without any help his answer was always the same – that he understood the laws of weight and leverage, and knew the secrets of the people who built the pyramids.
Edward Leedskalin had strong opinions which he published and sold in pamphlets. Of the 5 he is known to have “sold” through ads in the local newspaper; the first is an incredibly twisted moral perspective about keeping girls “pure” and the “soiling” influence of young men. The other 4 expressed his thoughts on the interaction of electricity and magnetism.
My apologies, the above is a Wikipedia link, but it will give an interesting synopsis of his writing.
Coral Castle has me pondering because I like nothing more than a good old fashioned mystery. This one is ripe with conspiracy theory, alien or other worldly believers, and more questions than answers. Leedskalin’s broken heart fuelled a mighty odd legacy. I suspect he wouldn’t care that it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Something tells me it might just lift his spirits to know how much debate still surrounds the construction.