Tucked in the southwest corner of New Hampshire stands the remains of Madame Sherri’s Castle, originally built in 1931. Madame Sherri was a singer, dancer, and seamstress who loved theater. She moved to New York City from France in 1911 and built a thriving business with her husband, designing and creating many extravagant costumes. Her husband passed away in 1921, and she found herself visiting a friend in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, and falling in love with the rural landscape. She eventually left the big city and moved to West Chesterfield, where she owned 600 acres of land and had her unique “castle” built. She lived in a nearby farmhouse and used the castle to throw parties for her friends in New York. Her lifestyle was funded by a previous protégé, Charles LeMaire. Unfortunately for Madame Sherri, he eventually stopped providing financial assistance, and in 1962 the castle burned to the ground in a fire, leaving behind what you see today.
Madame Sherri’s Castle is accessible by a short 150-yard trail, and you can explore the remains and reflect on the history of the property. The trailhead provides interpretive signage with Madame Sherri’s story as well as access to other scenic trails in the area. If you’d like to extend your stay in the Madame Sherri Forest, follow the 0.5-mile trail up to Indian Pond for a scenic lunch spot or continue around the entire 2-mile Ann Stokes Loop and take in the view from two viewpoints along the way.