on November 30, 2008
Today my husband and I took a drive down to Homestead, Florida. Home of the magnificent and mysterious Coral Castle. The history of this awesome tourist attraction is sad, yet wonderful, because without this story of lost love we would not have this magnificent monument to true love. The legend is as a 26-year-old in Latvia, Ed Leedskalnin, was jilted on the eve of his wedding to his 16-year-old sweetheart. She claimed that he was too old and poor to marry. Poor broken hearted Ed moved to the US worked in Washington as a logger until tuberculosis forced him to a warmer climate. While wandering South Florida Ed decided to settle in. He bought a rocky acre, and soon mystery surrounded the 5-foot, 100-pound man who read books on magnetic currents and cosmic forces by day, and by night carved huge blocks of coral from his land.How did he do it? He claims he discovered principles of magnetism used by the Egyptians to construct the pyramids. He also wrote a small book called "Magnetic Current" to explain his theories.He used no heavy machinery or any human help in carving and constructing his home, according to sworn affidavits dated 1955 from people who knew him. He managed to carve out giant blocks of coral weighing up to 56,000 pounds and position them into what he named Rock Gate. In 1923 he opened his home to the public and charged people $.10 for a tour of his castle and courtyard hidden behind an eight foot wall of coral blocks. Even more amazing, the neighborhood became too dangerous for Ed to live in so he moved his home piece by piece to its present location in Homestead, 10 miles away, near the site of the new U.S. 1 to attract more tourists.Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, Coral Castle draws about 65,000 visitors a year.
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