#008 – You have to think big to be big.

Hi Friends,

How are you guys? Well in this new post i am going to tell you something about Mr.Catholina Lambert who is a true testimony of Hardwork and Determination to fulfill ones dreams. Without wasting another second of yours let me take you to a short tour of Lambert and his dream castle famously known as Lambert’s Castle

Lambert ‘s Childhood:

lambertolder copy

Full Name: Catholina Lambert

Born on: March 28, 1834

Place: Goose Eye, Yorkshire

He was the eldest son of his parents. His Parents worked in Cotton Mills and had to travel around the country to find some work. Due to financial problems he studied only till age 10. Since age 10 he has been working in the mills. He earned respect from his owner at Boars Head Cotton Mill. The owner trained him well and by the time Lambert was 17 he had 7 years of apprenticeship experience.

Soon he discovered that America is the land of opportunities and at 17 he took his brother William and set sail to Liverpool with just 5 pounds in his pocket.

How those 5 pounds multiplied into several hundred pounds?

Early life in America:

At Boston he secured the job of book-keeping for just $4 in a silk mill. Silk Making was the new trend in America that time. So Lambert worked very hard and impressed his owner again. He was successful in securing a partnership in the firm. Soon he worked even more harder and became the owner of the Silk Mill and renamed the  mill as “Dexter Lambert and Company”

Love Life:

He met Isabella Shattuck and married on September 9, 1857.

Isabella Shattuck
Isabella Shattuck

His business grew very rapidly and his silk mill became very famous. Isabella gifted him a land along the cliffs of Garret Mountain and this became his future destination of his dream castle “Lambert’s Castle”

He and Isabella had 5 children named as

  • Florence in 1859
  • Frederick in 1861
  • Walter in 1863
  • Isabel Louise in 1866 and
  • Clifford in 1869

They were very happy until there came a tragedy in his life…

Tragedy in Family:

His younger brother William with whom he came to America died mysteriously while travelling South America.

  • In 1870, their infant son Clifford died of cholera.
  • In 1871, their son Percy was born, only to die in 1882 of scarlet fever.
  • Another son born in 1873 died within weeks of his birth.
  • In 1875 his first son Frederick died of scarlet fever at the age of 13.
  • A son, Harry was born in 1875, only to die in 1885 before the age of 10.
  • Their oldest daughter Florence, married and had a child in 1882 and another child in 1883. She died of pneumonia soon after, at the age of 24. Florence’s death was to forever sadden Lambert. In fact, one of the stained glass windows in the Castle is a portrait of Florence.

However his business prospered and he bought mills. He also built a mill in remembrance of his daughter Florence called as “Florence Mill”. His oldest son Walter, 22 and son-in-law William Suydam ran the mill. His mill became a popular destination of all silk mill workers.

The Castle- A dream land of Lambert

Since he was a boy he had always dreamt of having castles like the ones in  Yorkshire and Warwickshire


In 1891 he began designing a new home at Paterson, the place gifted by his wife Isabella for him years before. The castle was made up of sandstone and granite. The castle costed $1.5 million at that time.  In 1892, the Castle was finished. In January 1893 the housewarming session was held in the presence of 400 people including President Mc Kinley.


Lambert Castle
Lambert Castle

In 1896, the 70ft observation tower was constructed on the crest of the cliff.  A gallery was also added to display European ArtWork.

70 ft observation tower
70 ft observation tower
The Gallery of artworks
The Gallery of artworks

For quite some time he remained as a businessman only working 16 hours a day. And in 1900, he opened the castle’s artifacts to be seen by public every saturday afternoon.

But…sooner or later all good things have to come to an end

The fall of Lambert’s Empire:

These factors have been largely responsible for Lamberts fall

1900-1904– Paterson had Great Fire and 2 floods and a devastating tornado affecting all the businesses in that place

1901- His wife Isabella , 44 years old died

1904– He married Isabella’s sister Harriet.

1913– The famous Paterson silk strike starts

1913 Silk Strike

WW1 and Silk Strikes ruined Lambert’s business. He lost a large amount of wealth and was forced to sell his estate.

1916– He auctions a large part of his collection of artwork ( 368 paintings and 32 sculptures)

Lambert's collection
Lambert’s collection

1917– He sold off his Silk Mill

Unlike other bankrupts …Lambert managed to clear all his debts and and was proud to repay every creditor from his own wealth. In Dexter Lambert Company too…none of the investors lost their money.

1923– Feb 15 he died at the age of 89. He is buried next to his wife, Isabella in Paterson

Grave of Lambert and Isabella
Grave of Lambert and Isabella

The Castle after his death:

1925– His son Walter sold the castle and the property for $125,000.

The Castle contains hundreds of acres of wooden area behind the cliffs above the castle. The Historical society now holds social gatherings, craft shows and fundraisers at the Castle. Its a favorite site for NEWLYWEDS taking wedding pictures. The Museum is open to the public throughout the year.

wed laur



Sorry for making the post very lengthy…I hope you have enjoyed it till the end. All we can infer from Lambert’s story is that we can also grow rich in our lives only if we start thinking BIG. Happy Reading and All the best for you people who wanna think big ….

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