It was about November 1981 when I came from New Jersey to live in Charlottesville, Virginia. I was driving in a Volkswagen Beetle with a couple of friends, who told me a tale concerning the Scott Family. They informed me the famous paper towel Scotts purchased a sizable chunk of land in Albemarle County. On the land they had built a castle – Scott Castle. In addition, there was a family airstrip. Tragically, one took his own life, suffocating himself with a plastic bag.
Relating the “Facts”
Then, today, in November 2013, I was in a van with 5 friends when I recollected the story, now a twice-told tale. With conviction, I related the events spoken to me 32 years previously. When I got home, I decided to look for pictures and further narrative to widen my understanding of the situation. I succeeded in finding what I was looking for.
The Reality – Scott Castle?
The reality is, the information I had been given was only partly correct. The family lived in Virginia, but miles away from where it was indicated to be—at the border between Albemarle and Nelson Counties. As far as I have been able to determine, there was no suicide, either. The family is named Scott, but they are not the paper towel people. Instead, they are from Richmond, Virginia.1
The actual address of “Scott Castle” is 501 Royal Orchard Drive, Afton, VA. It is not Scott Castle, but Royal Orchard. Formerly they had given tours of their residence, but following a robbery, tours were discontinued. The family desires strict privacy. To that end, access is gated and guarded.
My wife thinks the place is a bit creepy, but I find it enchanting. Curiously, I’ve often driven right past its entrance and I’d be heard to remark, I wonder what’s up there? Here is an image of part of the grounds.
1 It should be noted that the same Scott family who owns the castle in Afton, owns a farm where my friends said the family was located—Bundoran Farm. In fact, it does have an airstrip.
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