ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — A fairy tale ending for a favorite Maryland destination. The Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City opened 60 years ago.
Alex DeMetrick reports Tuesday, the last piece of the attraction was saved from the wrecking ball.
The shopping center kept Old King Cole and the name but all that was left of the Enchanted Forest is the castle entrance—and now it, too, is going, carved into pieces…not to destroy, but to save.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Martha Clark.
For 10 years, Clark has moved over 100 pieces of the Enchanted Forest to her farm five miles away, where they have been restored to their original storybook glory.
“And this is the crowning glory. This is the last big piece to be moved over and we’re very excited to get it,” Clark said.
The shopping center owner isn’t charging her but she must pay for the moving. Clark figures she’s spent half a million dollars over the decade to do it.
George Miller does the restoring.
“It’s going to be a challenge with this because it was never designed to take apart and put back together but we’re going to do the best we can with it,” Miller said.
After all, Miller took the Three Bears house from falling down to Goldilocks-ready. But a castle? It would be easier to just build a new one.
“But it won’t be the same as having the original here,” Miller said.
This isn’t just an unusual move. For the contractor, it’s a first.
“We’ll do our best to keep this thing together,” said Bernie Daleo, Meckley Services, Inc. “But it might not.”
Not with the wood frame rotted and the thin concrete skin crumbling. So the move is a gamble.
“What if it stays together and we’re able to move it and everybody’s happy?” Daleo said. “So that’s the side we erred on.”
The castle first opened its gates in 1955 and for decades welcomed generations of children. It closed in the early 1990s.
“I just think it would be a crime for these pieces to be bulldozed and lost to future generations,” Clark said.
A ribbon cutting for the restored castle is scheduled for August 15 at the Clark Elioak Farm—60 years to the day the Enchanted Forest first opened.