If you ever happen to be visiting Miami, Florida, there is a place you really should add to your places to see. The construction of Coral Castle began was a 18 year project beginning in 1923 and ending around 1951. The whole process involved in the construction of this amazing structure remains a mystery today.
It all began with a man named Edward Leedskalnin. Ed was born in Latvia in 1887. At 26 years old, Ed was a shy and retiring man. He stood just over five feet tall and weighed only 100 pounds. He kept to himself until he met Agnes Scuffs. After a short courtship, Ed asked Agnes to marry him and to his delight she said, "yes."
Agnes was 10 years younger than Ed, so he referred to her as his "Sweet Sixteen." Wedding plans were made, but on the day before the wedding Agnes called off the ceremony.
Ed was understandably heartbroken. But, he had a plan. He would move to America, and create a monument to Agnes that would undoubtedly bring her back to his side. And that is what he did.
Eds journey took him from Canada to California to Texas. He was stricken with tuberculosis, and decided to move to a warmer climate. He moved to Florida City in 1918.
He began work on the massive stone structures that would become Coral Castle. He moved again to Homestead, Florida in 1936, and bought 10 acres of land. Ed then began the task of moving his stone structures from Florida City to Homestead, which was a distance of 10 miles.
Now comes the really interesting part of the story. The coral that Ed used to carve these structures can be up to 4,000 feet thick in that part of Florida. He cut, sculpted, and moved these massive coral blocks using only hand tools, and an old truck chassis. He had a friend of his who owned a tractor move the loaded trailer from Florida City to Homestead.
No one ever actually saw Ed doing any of his work, including loading or unloading the trailer. He did most of the work at night by lantern light. The only unverified eye witness account was from two teenage boys who claimed that Ed hummed and held his hands on both sides of the rock. Then as they watched in amazement, the stones started to levitate, and Ed moved them around as if they were light as marshmallows. Ed single-handedly built Coral Castle. He carved and sculpted over 1000 tons of coral rock using only hand tools.
By 1940, the massive structures and walls were in place. Now imagine this. Each section of wall is eight feet tall, four feet wide, three feet thick, and weighs over 5.8 tons!
Now, Ed was man with a fourth grade education. And yet, when asked how he moved all that coral his reply was that he understood the laws of weight and leverage. Modern scientists and engineers are still baffled by Ed's accomplishment. Some experts have likened Ed's techniques to the construction of Stonehenge and the great pyramids.
Unfortunately, this story doesn't have a story book ending. Agnes wasn't impressed by Ed's accomplishment, and so Ed never saw his "Sweet Sixteen" again.
Ed did leave behind five pamphlets that he wrote concerning his views on life, and magnetic currents. These writings are exclusively available through the Coral Castle gift shop.
Ed died in Miami in his sleep at the age of 64. His nephew, who lived in Michigan inherited Coral Castle. The castle eventually became a thriving and mystery-provoking tourist attraction.
It is also a testimony to a great love carved and set in stone.