Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center – Castle

On a bluff high above the west side of the Rock River, 2 miles north of Oregon, stands Stronghold Castle. Built in 1928, as a summer retreat by Walter Strong, owner and publisher of the Chicago Daily News, the edifice is home to: sixteen bedrooms, nine baths, eight fireplaces, four secret passages, and a 55 by 34 foot “Great Hall” with a 34 foot ceiling. In addition, the grounds include a swimming pool and tennis court. Sadly, Strong enjoyed the retreat for a single summer before he died in 1931, at age 47. His widow maintained the property for 30 more summers. During the first weekend in October, Stronghold becomes the site of an Olde English Faire. Today it is a four season Conference, Retreat and Camping Center operated by the Presbyterian Church.