Hartford Castle

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Hartford Castle was a speakeasy during the Prohibition, but was originally a home called Lakeview, built by French immigrant Benjamin Biszant in 1897. The castlelike home was the scene of a tragedy when Biszant’s English wife passed away in the early 1900s. It is her ghost that was suspected to haunted the place. After a spell as a private home, the castle burned down on March 21, 1973 and lies now in ruins. Some say the wife’s ghost can be seen wandering the grounds and weeping, and old-time music will play on summer nights.

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Geographic Information

Address:
Off New Poag Rd
Alton, IL
United States

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GPS:
38.80055463071939, -90.08446222556813
County:
Madison County, Illinois
Nearest Towns:
South Roxana, IL (2.3 mi.)
Hartford, IL (2.4 mi.)
Mitchell, IL (2.7 mi.)
Roxana, IL (3.3 mi.)
Wood River, IL (4.2 mi.)
Pontoon Beach, IL (4.8 mi.)
East Alton, IL (5.7 mi.)
Rosewood Heights, IL (6.0 mi.)
Glen Carbon, IL (6.5 mi.)
Glasgow Village, MO (6.9 mi.)

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Comments (3)

  1. I lived in Granite city Ill most of my life. Hartford Castle was a very spooky place in the 50’s and 60’s when we were growing up. We always heard stories of gangsters that had frequented the place. and things that happpened out there. For those of you that do not know, Pog Rd is out in the woods, with not to much lighting. When we were teenagers we would drive out and park at the bridge crossing a creek just about a mile or so from the castle. There were people living there at the time. We would hike as close as we could to get a peek at it then the dogs would start barking and we would haul ass out of there. A shout out to Marilyn M, Linda B, and Olen W.S, remembering the good old days………………………

  2. That Lakeview was used as a speakeasy is mere speculation. Although it may have some truth to it, it is not proved. After Mr. Biszant left, it became (or so we believe) a boy’s military school, a school for unwed mothers, a resort, possibly a speakeasy, and finally a private residence. Now it is owned by a local doctor, and it is prohibitied to enter the premises without express permission.
    If you have any information about his unknown wife, I would love to hear from you. Thank you for your article. 🙂

  3. Anyone interested it is hard to find. You will pass the river on poag rd, then pass old poag road, there will be a second steep bridge over the railroad, you need to pull to the right before crossing this bridge. If you go over or reach the Louis and Clark park you have gone a 10th of a mile too far.
    Anyways, after pulling over to the right you will navigate between a lot of water, mosquitos, large spiders, snakes and tons of frogs. You will find multiple animal path a but only one closer to the tracks that leads to a collapsed bridge over the moat. Currently people have stacked some old rotten sticks in the water you may be able to balance on. I could not in flip flops and the mosquitos were going through the repellant and tearing us apart. But if you can get past that you are in the clear! You will see cement markers from long ago and a cement bridge.

    Ryan Spurgeon of Carol Stream, il.

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