ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Hike Through Madame Sherri Forest and a Look at Her "Stairway To Heaven".

Updated on January 20, 2015
Source
Source

Antoinette De Lilas, was born in 1878 in Paris. She and her husband, Andre Riela, a silent film actor and theatrical producer, arrived in New York City in 19011.

The couple changed their surname to Sherri before going into business in the theatre district. Antoinette would soon be called Madame Sherri, which she apparently enjoyed greatly. Not long after their arrival to New York, Andre died.

Madame Sherri earned her fortune by designing theatre costumes, most notably, for Zigfield Follies during the 1920s. However, it was her eccentric, party-throwing personality that earned her enduring fame here in the Granite State where she built her summer retreat in the woods of Chesterfield.

During visits with actor-friend, Jack Henderson, Madame Sherri fell in love with Chesterfield and eventually purchased 600 acres.

The mansion, which would later be called the "Madame Sherri Castle Ruins", had French chateaux elements, a chalet roof, and Roman arches. She so adored the creation of her house, that she often would physically help workers in its' construction.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source
Source

The main staircase, dubbed "the stairway to heaven" was cut into the side of a rock ledge. Flower gardens were carefully planted around the house. The interior of Madame Sherri's house was as unique and exotic as she was. The home was furnished with items bought from around the world.

During the construction of the chateau and certainly after its' completion, Madame Sherri was known for her rather eccentric behavior. The Chesterfield locals would often see her dressed in her extravagant wardrobe, driving her Packard Touring sports car, chatting in her flamboyant accent and hosting glamorous parties at the mansion.

As the years passed, Madame Sherri's Hollywood connections waned. Fewer and fewer guests would visit.

Although there had been rumors that Madame Sherri ran a brothel, that is untrue. She had wanted to turn the chateau into a nightclub, but was denied a liquor license.

After the home was ransacked, Madame Sherri moved into a Brattleboro, Vermont boarding house. She died in 1965 at the age of 84.

In 1962, vandals burned the mansion down. What remains is a crumbling stone foundation and the winding staircase.

Perhaps the only other thing that remains, is Madame Sherri herself. New Hampshire is laced with tales of the supernatural and there have been a few who claim to have witnessed Madame Sherri walking down her grand stairway.

A
Madame Sherri Forest: Gulf Road, West Chesterfield NH:
West Chesterfield, Chesterfield, NH 03466, USA

get directions

Directions to Madame Sherri Castle Ruins on Gulf Road in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire

From New Hampshire:
Follow Rte. 9 to Rte. 63 South
Turn right on Stage Road
Bear left onto Castle Road
Castle Rd joins Gulf Road
Watch for the Madame Sherri Forest sign and parking lot on the left.

From Vermont:
Take Rte. 9 East into New Hampshire
Turn right onto Brown Ave. just after the Riverside Store along the Connecticut River
Bear left onto Gulf Road
Watch for the Madame Sherri Forest sign and parking lot on the right.

There is a small parking lot at the Madame Sherri Forest trailhead just off Gulf Road. At the information kiosk, there is a map so you can decide which trail you'd like to hike.

Situated on the eastern slope of Wantastiquet Mountain (also known as Rattlesnake Mountain), Madame Sherri Forest is a 533-acre property most generously endowed by Anne Stokes, who had purchased the property from Madame Sherri before her death.

The purchase would be finalized the day Madame Sherri died. The property abuts the even larger, 847-acre Wantastiquet State Forest and link to the Monadnock Greenway Trail.

With that vast acreage, you're hike can be an afternoon stroll or extreme trail blazing.

Once you pass the information kiosk, there is small bridge that leads into the woods. To your left will be this small pond encircled by stone.

Source

Depending on the season, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and hunting can be enjoyed. Dog walking is also allowed.

We had time for a short hike which worked out wonderfully after a drizzly afternoon lunch. By the time we arrived at the forest, the rain had stopped and the sky had begun to clear.

Source
Source

As you begin your hike there is an immediate fork in the road. To the right, not far from the parking lot is what remains of Madame Sherri's chateau. You could certainly wonder miles into the woods from that location, however, the park does ask that you stick to the trails and watch that you do not harm the many plants, moss and other biodiverse elements of the forest.

To the left, a few steps up the path, there is a sign which indicates a short hike in one direction and a longer hike in the other.

Source

The ground was damp from the previous rains. The trails are well marked, although they are not groomed, nor are they cared for during the winter months. As hikers, you must be prepared with appropriate hiking boots and a first aid kit.

There are craggy rocks which can be slipped on and ravins that dip directly from the trail 's edge.

Source

The trail to the Indian Pond was nearly all up-hill. It is a gradual incline, but depending on your physical health, take note.

While walking through the wooden areas, we couldn't believe how still the woods appeared. Birds were busy chirping, but other than their song, the woods were silent. It is a very peaceful place.

Source

Indian Pond

Source

As we approached the pond, ducks took flight. There is no doubt that wildlife abounds here.

Another sign indicates how close you are to the border of Vermont. Brattleboro is just a walk up the pathway.

While Madame Sherri's house was in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, her life would end in Brattleboro, Vermont just up the road.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

It occurred to us that several paths were used as carriage routes. The paths are wide enough to accommodate such a vehicle and one edge was lined with stone.The opposite side of the trail was flush to a steep incline.

To travel at night, this trail must have been pitch black. It would have been critically important to have the stone-lined paths in order to keep the carriage from tumbling into the ravin and into complete darkness.

Source
Source

As we started our walk back, we noticed the abundance of dropped acorns. They were some of the largest acorns we'd ever seen, some as large as a quarter. Taking a closer look, we noticed that deer had begun munching on them. The bright green, bitter acorns were only partially nibbled upon, but soon, this forest would offer these deer a feast.

Source
Haunted New Hampshire
Haunted New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a state rich with history; some of it haunted. Explore the ghosts and their haunts in towns such as Alton, Dover, Franconia, Litchfield, Nashua, Portsmouth, and West Chesterfield that will leave your senses tingling with adventure.

 

In Search of Local Ghosts?

Haunted Hikes of New Hampshire
Haunted Hikes of New Hampshire

Explore the haunts of hikers gone by and see for yourself whether these ghost tales are fact or fiction. Hikes are rated according to difficulty and spookiness with something for every member of the family.

 
Burdick's signature chocolate mice are available year-round.
Burdick's signature chocolate mice are available year-round. | Source
A
L.A. Burdick/47 Main Street, Walpole, NH:
47 Main St, Walpole, NH 03608, USA

get directions

Enjoy Brunch, Lunch or Dinner After a Day in the Woods

Within a short drive to or from West Chesterfield is the tiny town of Walpole, New Hampshire. Located in the charming town center is L.A Burdick's flagship restaurant and chocolate shop where much of the exquisite chocolate is created. Regardless of when you visit Burdick's be certain that you order a cup of their hot chocolate (dark is my personal favorite). You've never had anything like it.

Here is a look at their various menus:

Eggs Benedict with Serrano Ham
Toasted Brioche, Roasted Red Potato - $13

Artisanal Cheeses
Crostini, Seasonal Fruits
Individual Cheese /2oz - $5
Selection of Five / 10oz - $20


Steak Frites
herb butter, sauce Bordelaise, pommes frites - $19


Fine Herb and Gruyere Omelette
pommes frites - $13


Salade Lyonnaise
Frisée Warm Bacon Vinaigrette, Lardons, Croutons,
Poached Duck Eggs - $12 - Add Duck Confit - $17


Pan Roasted Duck Breast
Mushroom Risotto, Dried Cherry Gastrique - $24


Burdick Chocolate Cooking School

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • alifeofdesign profile imageAUTHOR

      Graham Gifford 

      4 years ago from New Hamphire

      Hello David. Indeed she was. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I will certainly read The Special Edition and thank you for sharing that information. Best Regards, Graham

    • David Fiske profile image

      David Fiske 

      4 years ago from Ballston Spa, New York

      Madame Sherri led a very intriguing life. I recently worked with author Eric Stanway on a book that updates his earlier work. The new book is Madame Sherri - The Special Edition. For information on the book, and Madame Sherri, see:

      http://madamesherri.com

    • alifeofdesign profile imageAUTHOR

      Graham Gifford 

      6 years ago from New Hamphire

      Hi Lizam1. I certainly hope that you have an opportunity to visit The Madame Sheri Forest. It is a lovely part of the state and there is also a great little pancake house nearby, if you should head out early.

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks for this introduction. I have added this to my wish to go places list. Stunning photographs.

    • alifeofdesign profile imageAUTHOR

      Graham Gifford 

      6 years ago from New Hamphire

      Your compliments are so greatly appreciates, FaithReaper, thank you. We will surely return to this place. It was beautiful and so amazingly quiet and peaceful! I can only imagine how wonderful it must have been to have a home nestled within these woods.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      What an outstanding hub, full of stunning beauty and oh so very interesting to say the least dear one!!! This is magnificent! Your photos are excellent and beyond beautiful. Wow, I would love to visit there one day in this lifetime. I can see why that staircase is named such. This is an epic hub of all hubs. Voted Way Up to the Heavens, except funny. It is evident you have worked very hard on this fascinating hub. Both video are wonderful too.

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)