PHILIPSBURG, Pa.—Joel Watson, a Philipsburg native, has an affinity for old things, which would explain why he built a castle instead of a regular house for his family to live in.
For the past six years, Watson has been building a replica castle as his family’s new home. The house is made entirely of reused/recycled materials—the main frame of the house was built from three old barns he saved from demolition. Some parts of the home are authentically old, such as the 100-year-old oven he plans on renovating. Other pieces in the home, such as the cherry cabinets, were made recently and are just made to look antique.
Building this fortress presented a challenge to Watson. His blueprints needed a “stamp of approval” to get passed through code, and the architecture and building materials for ancient structures do not match those of modern ones. After some back-and-forth work with architects, Watson got a green light on his project.
Naturally the house receives a great deal of attention. Located on Route 322, many a car stops to look and take pictures of the unique structure; however, the family is not keen on the attention. When a local news station requested to do a story on the castle, Watson explained with a chuckle, “We kind of declined that, we didn’t need any extra attention.”
Despite living in an unusual home and getting so much attention, Watson’s two children are used to it at this point. He explained that at the family’s old house, they had a pool shaped like a fish. Watson laughed as he mentioned that his wife Margo wasn’t thrilled with all the attention the castle gets.