The Rock Castle that was built by Ada and John Lewis Ragsdale 1920s

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1 - 12 of 12 Comments Last updated Sunday Aug 3
Gina G

Lawrenceburg, KY

#1 Oct 7, 2011
In 1938 Ada and John Lewis Ragsdale (J.L. Ragsdale) moved from Perris, California to Eastern Kentucky. They lost almost everything due to the Great Depression and also sold the "Rock Castle" along with their business. Around 1945 they Founded a non-profit organization named "The Open Door Childrens Home" located in Perry County, in a log cabin on Hall Mountain. By 1956, when I was born, Mother and Daddy Ragsdale (as the children called them) had purchased 420 acres and built a 10,000 square foot home. I was only 8 weeks old when I came to live with them and I lived on top of that mountain for 21 years. Mother Ragsdale has written a book, "The Open Door" by Mrs. J.L.Ragsdale, amazon.com . When I was 13 years old I traveled to Perris, CA with Mother and toured the Rock Castle. Is their anyone in Perris who may have any information about this property or have any memories handed down of these gigantic people.
Any Photos

Hollywood, FL

#2 Dec 15, 2011
Still looking for info.
Steve L

Riverside, CA

#3 Dec 28, 2011
Hi Gina - I am a local historian here in Riverside County and I'm looking into the Ragsdale's home. It was built in 1928-1929 by John as their home on what was then called Maitral Hill. It was built of rocks taken from the Whitewater river which from Perris is about 45 miles away. It's quite a landmark! Anyway, I'm going to do a full article about it and the Ragsdales for our history journal this spring (2012).
ginag

Hollywood, FL

#4 Jan 22, 2012
Steve L wrote:
Hi Gina - I am a local historian here in Riverside County and I'm looking into the Ragsdale's home. It was built in 1928-1929 by John as their home on what was then called Maitral Hill. It was built of rocks taken from the Whitewater river which from Perris is about 45 miles away. It's quite a landmark! Anyway, I'm going to do a full article about it and the Ragsdales for our history journal this spring (2012).
I am writing a book about daddy and mother this year. 2012. Please Google open door children's home cornettsville KY. I started a thread. Mother came from wealth to save out lives. They left a 4000 foot home to a 400 square foot cabin. No running water. They built our 10,000 square foot home. I want your help. Part of my book is to discuss their home in Riverside. Mother took me there, herself.
Mr L

Perris, CA

#5 Jan 23, 2012
I always heard stories growing up as a kid that place was spooky and haunted by ghosts,no one dared to enter.
May just be another urban legend heh heh heh
Kristen Aliotti

San Diego, CA

#6 Jun 17, 2012
Gina G wrote:
In 1938 Ada and John Lewis Ragsdale (J.L. Ragsdale) moved from Perris, California to Eastern Kentucky. They lost almost everything due to the Great Depression and also sold the "Rock Castle" along with their business. Around 1945 they Founded a non-profit organization named "The Open Door Childrens Home" located in Perry County, in a log cabin on Hall Mountain. By 1956, when I was born, Mother and Daddy Ragsdale (as the children called them) had purchased 420 acres and built a 10,000 square foot home. I was only 8 weeks old when I came to live with them and I lived on top of that mountain for 21 years. Mother Ragsdale has written a book, "The Open Door" by Mrs. J.L.Ragsdale, amazon.com . When I was 13 years old I traveled to Perris, CA with Mother and toured the Rock Castle. Is their anyone in Perris who may have any information about this property or have any memories handed down of these gigantic people.
Hi Gina - I was in Perris this afternoon, looking up at the Rock Castle. I stopped by one of the offices of the historical society and learned the name Ragsdale, as the original builders of the house. Are you still researching? Have you found answers? It is still there, it is an imposing (amazing-looking) rock house, but it's up high, with locked gates and no easy access to see it up close. I have seen 2-3 names of recent owners, and a couple of real estate listings with information. Apparently it was sold in 2001 to the current owners. If you have found any further information, I would be very interested in hearing it. I have not personal connection - just have always seen it on the road and wondered about it. Today, visiting the Perris train museum, I decided to try to find information, and thus found your 2011 note.
Kristen Aliotti

San Diego, CA

#7 Jun 17, 2012
Steve L wrote:
Hi Gina - I am a local historian here in Riverside County and I'm looking into the Ragsdale's home. It was built in 1928-1929 by John as their home on what was then called Maitral Hill. It was built of rocks taken from the Whitewater river which from Perris is about 45 miles away. It's quite a landmark! Anyway, I'm going to do a full article about it and the Ragsdales for our history journal this spring (2012).
Steve, have you written your article? I would love to read it. Do you have a link to it, or to any other information? I am wondering if there is a Wikipedia listing; if there is, it has not popped up on my searches. Thanks for any information.
Kathleen Spillane

Burlingame, CA

#9 Sep 12, 2012
The Rock Castle was owned at one point by my Grandfather Jack Spillane SR., at least somewhere in the 1950 until I believe late 1960's My father grew up in the castle, and after he married my mother, Jack Jr, Diana and Joan Spillane lived in the castle with Jack Sr and second wife Dorothy.
Jack Sr came from old Boston proper money and was an importer/exporter. Hence the house inside was beautifully displayed with many beautiful pieces of furniture.In 1963, Jack Sr passed away from diabetes, and his second wife inherited everything, including pieces from Goodie, the Boston socialite. None of the origial Spillanes recieved a thing, except for a pile of old dishes of Goodies. All the antiques, importes pieces were divided among Dorothys family, and she sold the house to an avid air baloonist.
Kassidy R

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#10 Sep 15, 2012
My dads grest great uncle built that
Christina

Bradenton, FL

#11 Mar 20, 2013
As a kid, in the late 1960's I walked past it every day on the way to and from Perris Jr. High. We all heard the stories of it being haunted. We were all afraid to go up to the gates. There were all kinds of crazy stories. Including a rumor that Micky Rooney had once owned it. Which I guess were totally untrue.
debra

United States

#12 Apr 7, 2013
how many bedrooms? uu
Terryragsdale

Ada, OK

#13 Sunday Aug 3
Gina G wrote:
In 1938 Ada and John Lewis Ragsdale (J.L. Ragsdale) moved from Perris, California to Eastern Kentucky. They lost almost everything due to the Great Depression and also sold the "Rock Castle" along with their business. Around 1945 they Founded a non-profit organization named "The Open Door Childrens Home" located in Perry County, in a log cabin on Hall Mountain. By 1956, when I was born, Mother and Daddy Ragsdale (as the children called them) had purchased 420 acres and built a 10,000 square foot home. I was only 8 weeks old when I came to live with them and I lived on top of that mountain for 21 years. Mother Ragsdale has written a book, "The Open Door" by Mrs. J.L.Ragsdale, amazon.com . When I was 13 years old I traveled to Perris, CA with Mother and toured the Rock Castle. Is their anyone in Perris who may have any information about this property or have any memories handed down of these gigantic people.
Terryragsdale my dad their nephew played and stayed there when he was young I have visited the castle. I haven't talked to Thelma in a long time I'm sure she has passed by now. I may have some info that might help

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