By RUSSELL JONES
Reggae fans from around the area met at Wilson Castle in Proctor on Saturday, June 15, for the Wilson Castle Jam Fest. The concert, put on by Brandon Idol winner Holly Mugford, was a benefit to raise money for repairs to the castle.
The castle was built in the 1890s for a cost of $1.3 million dollars. After being bought and sold several times, it was finally bought by Colonel Herbert Wilson in 1939. It has remained with the Wilson family, who offers wedding venue services there and gives haunted castle tours around Halloween, but otherwise the structure of the once proud castle is under-used and has deteriorated over the years.
Boards now cover some windows and the castle is missing bricks in several places. According to a GoFundMe campaign started by Douglas Probst, along with current owner Denise Davine, the rising property taxes have strained the restoration budget.
Their GoFundMe campaign has raised $95 of their $25,000 goal in three months and Mugford wanted to help out.
“I really enjoy planning parties and this is such a good cause,” she said. “I just want to see this beautiful building be taken care of.”
To kick off the fun on Saturday, Green Mountain Freight opened the event with a mix of reggae and blues. Root 100 took the stage next, followed by the Aerolites to end the evening.
“We raised $1,348, before event expenses,” Mugford said. “After paying for the band, porta-potty, food, and ice, we didn’t make a ton, but every little bit helps. Hopefully with more sponsors we can raise more at the next events.”
Mugford is throwing another fundraiser for the castle next month on July 27. That event will be a Toga Party and will also feature live music, games, and food. For more information see facebook.com/wilsons.castle.