Bill Castle, Master Builder

It had been (ulp!) 17 years since I last saw Bill and Barb Castle. I’d met them in Costa Rica in 1990 and then spent several days later that year at their rustic log lodge in the Alleghany hills of southern New York state, photographing Bill’s finely-crafted log buildings. He was then one of the three main builkders of our last builders’ book, Home Work. Chris McClellan, mutual friend of me and Bill, picked me up at the Buffalo airport and we drove out to “Pollywogg Holler.”

Main lodge at Pollywogg Holler

I brought my big Canon camera along almost as an afterthought, but once we got to Bill’s I was once again fascinated by his ingenuity and craftsmanship, and I shot a bunch of photos. Bill and Barb and son Mickey run what’snow called an eco-lodge, which consists of a beautiful main lodge, a Norwegian-style log sauna, cabins in the woods and Adirondack open air sleeping shelters situated on two ponds. There’s wood-fired pizza and homemade wine and champagne, a small stage for music. No electricity. Silence so loud it’s deafening. Birds sing from sunrise to dark, and I mean a LOT of birds. (I come from bird territory.) If you live on the east coast and don’t need the $500 a day type of vacation, this is a wonderful getaway and I recommenbd it highly to my kind of people:Pollywogg Holler

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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