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home > articles > Within the Actual Walls of Rose Red


Within the Actual Walls of Rose Red
by Daniel Cumerlato

Rose Red, the grand and spooky palace used in Stephen King's masterpiece, is real. Actually, the house is real, unlike the gothic structure in the cheesy remake of The Haunting which was completely computer generated. Rose Red is real, but outside of King's world it's known as Thornewood Castle, located in Lakewood, Washington, just south of Tacoma. The Rimbauer family is fictional, as are the tragedies that befell them within Thornewood.

Chester A. ThorneChester A. Thorne, founder of the Port of Tacoma, is the true original owner, and similar to John Rimbauer built the house back in 1911. Also similar is that this home was the romantic Chester's idea of a grand gift to his wife and love, Anna.

This gift is currently standing at the shore of American Lake on four acres of prime lakeside land. Built in three years, 1908-1911, the castle cost approximately one million dollars, which changed for today's inflation would equal around 30 million.

Kirtland Kelsey CutterThe architect of Thornewood was Kirtland Kelsey Cutter who is responsible for the Rainier Club, plus other wonders in Seattle, California, and even Idaho. Cutter was a renowned architect with expanding businesses in the Spokane area around the years of 1890 - 1915. He practiced with two architectural firms, partnering with Karl Malmgren and John C. Poetz. A tribute to his ability, Thornewood was built to last with concrete and steel, as well as a foundation three feet thick. Within the castle resides a famous English sunken garden created by Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted.

Rainier Club

There are no public reports of ghosts within Thornewood, however the Thorne's were not free of controversy. Chester A. Thorne's son died when in the country of Egypt, whether through murder or sickness is not disposed. As well, somebody committed suicide within a gun closet off of a downstairs bathroom.

Now the old castle is a Bed and Breakfast to allow everyone a chance to take part in Thornewood's unique beauty. The current owners, Deanna and Wayne Robinson are proud to show off its exquisiteness. True to this, they allowed ABC and Stephen King to base the movie there. Rose Red is currently airing on ABC, concluding this Thursday January 31.




Thornewood Bed and Breakfast:

Northwest Museum:

Jim Szymanski of The News Tribune:



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