Quigley’s Castle

Quigley’s Castle outside of Eureka Springs is one of those odd tourist attractions that makes one curious enough to stop.

quigleyElise Quigley had described her vision for the house, but had to make a miniature model before her husband Albert and an architect could understand what she wanted.  Using lumber from the property, Albert and a neighbor built the house in 1943.

Elise and her children made the bricks for the outside from the collection of rocks she had accumulated since her childhood.

QuileyOn two sides of the two story home are large windows to provide light for tropical plants that grow in a three foot deep gap between the windows and where the flooring begins.  So the plants grow directly in soil.

Quiley2This shot looks up to the second story garden space.  Planks were laid to create shelves for pot plants.

Quiley3This picture was made from the second floor looking down in the growing space.

Quiley1In one corner upstairs is a collection of shells and plants.

Quiley5Some of the plants reach up to the second story.  I think this one is a Hibiscus.

Quiley4On one wall hung a collage Mrs. Quigley created from butterflies and shells.  It looks like some kind of resin was poured on top since it has a reflective finish.

Quiley6It actually works like a mirror:  The window and railing are behind us as I take the photograph.

Quiley7It’s a small house, so it’s amazing that they had five children living there.  Although two sons were serving overseas in WW II, so I’m not sure they ever lived there.


QuileyaThe kitchen seemed especially claustrophobic to me.

QuileyaaAlthough Mrs. Quigley lived for forty years in this house, it is amazing how much hand rock work was done in the yard.

QuileybI also don’t know if this was done completely by her or if her family helped.



QuileyccMr. Quigley inherited the 80 acres from his father and continued the lumber business of his family.


QuileyddHow was she able to get all that cement during the war and the years following it?

QuileyeLook at the size of these rocks.  It makes my body ache to just think of the heavy lifting involved.


QuileyfAll kinds of trees with intertwining vines grow on the property.

QuileygA sign by this furnace provided the following information. In 1998 the brick chimney in the kitchen began to leak smoke, so this furnace was installed. It heats the whole house, two outbuildings, and the hot water heater in the house. The fire in the furnace burns a little over a half cord from October to mid-April.

Since Mrs. Quigley died in 1984, someone else must live in the house now or maybe it’s heated for the tourists.

QuileyggJust think of the time involved in all of these projects.

QuileyhLoose stacked rock fence.


QuileyiHens and Chicks growing in this planter.

QuileyiiThe tall slim towers are a puzzle.  There must be some kind of poles inside to keep them upright.


QuileyjjPyracantha bushes at the back of the house.

QuileykI do like the small rock baskets.  Chrysanthemums and Pansies add some color.

QuileykkPeriwinkle or Vinca flowers scattered throughout the yard brightens up an autumn scene.






QuileynnNext to the parking area is an interesting tree with a burl.

QuileyoThe bright red tree is a Sugar Maple, I think.

QuileyooThis house and the yard may seem tacky to many people.  But I was impressed with the work behind it all.  It’s important to have a passion about something.  And it’s obvious that that she loved nature, specifically plants and rocks.  So I applaud her for living her dream.

“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”   Lorraine Hansberry

Christ of the Ozarks

Now that December is over, the next few posts will focus on our November trip to the Arkansas Ozarks.  There we encountered a very different landscape than our home in central Texas.  On the east edge of Eureka Springs are the grounds for the well-known annual Easter Passion Play.

chapeljA faint outline of the back of the Christ of the Ozarks statue is seen beyond the trees.  We arrived in the late afternoon and were the only ones there except for the workers in the Bible Museum.

chapelb Christ of the Ozarks, weighing over two million pounds, was built by hand in 1966.  It  is made of 24 layers of white mortar on a steel frame.  The foundation is attached to the rock of the mountain.  The hands from wrist to fingertip measure approximately 7 feet. The statue’s arm spread from fingertip to fingertip spans 65 feet and its overall height is 67 feet.

We only saw the outside of the buildings where guests enter for the play.

We had an escorted tour of the Bible Museum that houses 6,000 Bibles ​in 625 languages as well as 3,000 artifacts. Some of the rarest Bibles include an original first printing of a 1611 King James Version, the only Bible signed by all of the original Gideons in 1898, the first Cherokee Bible, as well as a page from the Gutenberg Bible.

The Museum also features a fascinating collection of important translations and historical exhibits including:  a Greek New Testament published by Erasmus in 1516, Martin Luther’s German translation and William Tyndale’s New Testament and an original 1611 King James Version – known as the Great Bible because of it’s size.

chapelcThis small church is over a 100 years old.


chapeldThere was no indication as to the origin of this copy of the Liberty Bell.

chapelfIt looked to be made from clay, but I don’t know that for sure.

chapelePass and Stow were the names of the two men who recast the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

chapelgThis is an actual piece from the Berlin Wall.  It has special meaning to us because we were living in Germany when “the wall fell”, meaning that the communist East Berlin government opened the gates and let their people leave.   We were able to visit there within a few weeks of that historic event and even chipped a few chunks out of the wall as souvenirs.

chapeliThis was a peaceful, quiet visit with an opportunity for reflection on many things.

“I am an error
And I will reveal myself
After you press ‘send’.”
Erica Oakland

Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is proud of its old historical homes and buildings on the narrow, winding streets downtown.  But to me, the most impressive sight is on the western outskirts of the town.  On a wooded side of a mountain is Thorncrown Chapel.

chapelThorncrown was built on the piece of property that Jim Reed bought for his retirement home.  As people visited and admired the property, he had the desire to share it with others.  The idea of a glass chapel where others could be inspired by worshiping God among the trees came to him.

chapelkGround was broken in 1979 but quickly Reed was overcome by building costs.  He knelt on the stone floor of the chapel and surrendered the project to God.  Soon a woman from Illinois provided a loan to cover the needed amount.

chapel7The chapel opened in 1980.  The beams look like metal, but are wood.  I wondered how often it has to be painted.  Massive job.

chapel2There are 425 windows that cover 6,000 square feet.  The calm of the trees penetrate the building with quiet majesty.

chapel5In 1981 it received the American Institute of Architects’ Design of the Year Award and the American Institute of Architects’ Design of the Decade Ward for the 1980’s.  Like the tall, slender Gothic churches, its design draws the eyes upward.

chapel3The staff does not want the chapel to be known as a wedding chapel but a limited number are allowed each year.

Visitors are asked to be seated and take pictures from the seats.

chapelklThe chapel provides a place for quiet meditation with the focus on God.  Note the light of the cross on each sconce.

chapel8Standing on the level ground of the Thorncrown Chapel parking area, one can look down on the Worship Center.   Stairs descend to the entrance.  It has the same outer shape of the Chapel but has more solid sides with much less glass.  It seats about three hundred and can be reserved for special worship events.

chapel9The Worship Center was not open for visitors.

Thorncrown Chapel was my favorite place in Eureka Springs.  We visited it several times and were awed each time.

“The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.” Ronald Reagan

Fall Color Further North

Just returned from a trip to see the fall tree colors in the Ozark Mountains.  On the drive there we passed through the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma also adorned in autumn splendor.

cottagefIn the Ozarks, the roads had no shoulders, so it was difficult to find stopping places for photos.  The roads wind upwards in tight curves.  And then, of course, downward in a spiral.

cottagedAt this stop, we enjoyed stretching our legs and looking up into the trees.

cottageeThere was also interest on the ground.  Plants and trees can be amazingly  adaptive.  Roots of this must all lopsided.  This stone looked like a fossilized tree limb.

cottagegIt’s a beautiful world.

cottageggcottagehClose up of dried wildflowers.

cottagehhOkay, I’m weird.  I like close-ups of just about anything, including a common bolt holding together concert barriers.

cottagecccottageiI definitely didn’t know all the different kinds of trees – just enjoyed their beauty.

cottageffFinally, we arrive at our destination outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

cottageThis is the view from the front of our cottage the next morning:  fog on Beaver Lake.

cottage1Squirrels were scampering around on the porch gathering seeds scattered from a bird feeder and fallen acorns.


cottage4Beaver Lake Cottages with their wonderfully serene setting was a delight.  Our cottage was nestled among the trees on a mountain overlooking the lake.  With many inlets, Beaver Lake has over 500 miles of shoreline.  So, many different kinds of lodging are available.

cottage6With the view being front and center, parking was behind the cottage on a bit of a steep road down to it.

cottagebInside was cozy and comfortable.  Even though we ventured out during the day for different excursions, we could have settled in and been quite content.  Except then, I would have had to cook.  But this was a vacation.

cottage8Nicely furnished.

cottage7I should have taken a picture of the kitchen before we cluttered up the counters.

cottage9The proprietors, who were very friendly and helpful, provide a large stock of DVD’s to view as well as good TV reception.

The plant above the TV was in a woven basket with its side handle hanging from a nail.  Clever

cottageaAll the plants in the cottage were real, like this hanging spider plant.

cottagecOne last look at Beaver Lake.  Ahh, so peaceful.

Following posts will show some of the places we visited.  Your time is valuable, so thanks for taking the time to read this blog.

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson