My husband and I often drive without any particular destination in mind. Last weekend our excursion brought us to a very interesting spot off of Route 46 on Budd Lake. I took some photographs when I heard from a distance someone asking us if we were tourists. I found his comment amusing given the fact we live about 25 miles away. But I guess we did look like tourists as I was carrying my camera bag and holding my Nikon camera fitted with a telescopic lens.
The person was paddling a small canoe across the lake and another person looked like he was getting his gear ready for a beautiful sunny day of fishing. For all we know they could have been the owners or gatekeeper of the property. The castle is now Pax Amicus Theater. Frankly I never heard of it before but very happy we found it. The theater was founded in 1970 and according to Wikipedia “This community theater produces a full year-round season of Broadway and off-Broadway revivals, professional productions of works by Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe, a program devoted to children’s theater, and special events throughout the year.” The most curious find of all was the various statutes dedicated to different people. It seemed surreal to me that along Budd Lake there would be a castle. “The Castle was built in the 1940s as a cinderblock synagogue. Later, it was owned by the Knights of Columbus. In 1978, it was turned into a theatre through the addition of a small stage house, two cinderblock turrets out front, and a fake-gothic facade. It sits at the end of a winding road on the shores of Budd Lake, perhaps 30 miles from Pennsylvania, and is surely one of the damnedest things one will ever run across. A sign over the front door reads “Pax Amicus”-“Peace, Friend.” I would love to know more about the people mentioned on the plaques. As a child this kind of place fascinated me. I suppose it still does. I hope that someone recognizes this hidden treasure and could give us more information. And if you never knew about it, you need to check it out some time.