Sunday, November 26, 2006

Picture Post, Sunday November 26, 2006

Coral Castle #3

Alright. If you haven't seen my last two posts on Edward Leedskalnin's Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida, please scroll down and read Friday's and Saturday's posts. I'll wait.

I'm going to just put today's pictures in amongst the text instead of describing each photo like I usually do.

My favorite story about Ed Leedskalnin from the 28 years it took him to single handedly create everything you see at Coral Castle is as follows:

No one ever really got to watch Ed work. The only photos of him working show him using big log tripods like I mentioned in one of the earlier posts, as well as parts scavenged from Ford Model A's.

People said that when they snuck through the woods to where he was working on Coral Castle and would hide to see him work from a sectret place, Ed somehow would know they were there and would wave in their direction, stop working, and ask them over. He never let anyone see him work, and they couldn't watch in secret because he always knew when someone was hiding.

So, after working on Coral Castle for a number of years at it's first locaton in Florida City, Ed found out about the upcoming construction of U.S. Highway One which would run through nearby Homestead, Florida.

Ed bought a piece of land next to where it would be, and hired a man with a truck to haul his massive coral stone carvings over to his new property.

I've forgotten this truck driver's name, and am too lazy to look it up, but when we went to Coral Castle in 1984, we were told that this truck driver who hauled Ed's stones to the new Homestead site, for many years came by Coral Castle several times per week to tell his story of helping Ed move the stones.

This man said that he would drive up in his flat bed truck, I think this was 1936 or so, and would be instructed by Ed Leedskalnin to park near whatever stones he wanted moved, and to leave the area, and that he, Ed, would load the truck. Come back in sometime later.

The man would disappear, and return later to find his big flat bed loaded with these massive, many tonned, carved stones.

Ed Leedskalnin had loaded the truck with thousand pounds of stones, by himself.

The man would drive the stones and Ed over to the new Homestead location and would again be instructed to disappear. He would come back after a while to find his truck unloaded and Ed ready to go.

So how does a five foot tall, 100 pound man do that kind of lifting in such a fast time, COMPLETELY ALONE?

Ed would only tell people that he knew how they built the pyramids in Egypt, and that if he could figure it out, anyone could.

This is the end of my posts on Coral Castle, one of the most intriguing places I've ever been.


Emily said...

Great pictures! Looks like such a cool place!

Emily said...

cdgtI actually looked back and realize I said nearly the exact same thing in my comment of your first coral castle post - but that only reinforces the coolness. It reminds of like, some ruins of like, some underwater kingdom.

Yeah, I said 'underwater kingdom.'

That's so crazy about the dude hauling the stones, too. Are you sure you don't know the answer and are just making us confused? You are an engineer after all =P

JAM said...

It really is a cool place. And you're right, it's like some newly discovered underwater world.

Ed Leedskalnin's family were stone masons, so I think in actuality, he used tried and true methods of leverage and simple pulleys and so forth to lift and move. He was apparently a mysterious person, so people like to ascribe mysterious powers or knowledge to him. After seeing this place first hand, it's easy to join them in thinking he had special powers.

He apparently really did have the ability to know when someone was watching him, and he wouldn't work until alone. This just caused people to speculate more.

One other amazing thing is, if you look at the items, the rock is smoothly cut. Usually when someone is doing that kind of work on stone, it leaves marks that identify the tools used to cut and carve. When we were there, there was only one side of one hole from which he removed stone that had any marks at all, and it looked like he used the flat metal bars from the leaf springs of a Model A Ford.

The chairs you see in the pics were truly comfortable to sit in. The seating surfaces were subtly carved like the opposite of human bodies. It would be easy to sit in these chairs for a long time.

Wingnut said...

way cool, I have actually h eard of this place and maybe I will get a chance to see it some day, thanks for the peek in photographs!