© Lambert Castle
Born in 1834 in Yorkshire, England, Catholina Lambert desired to travel to America and live the quintessential American dream. Lambert followed his dreams, and landed in Boston in 1851. Quickly after arriving in Boston, Lambert landed a job working in a silk factory owned by Benjamin Tilt and Walter Dexter.Many years later, Lambert became a partner when Tilt left.
After working as a partner for more than three years, Lambert purchased Dexter’s half of the business, and became one of the most successful businessmen in Boston. His success rose exponentially and resulted in the creation of a three-story factory named Dexter Mill.
From 1850 to 1870 Catholina focused on his family life. In 1857, he married Isabella Eldridge Shattuck. Throughout the next twenty years, Catholina and Isabella had eight children. From 1870 to 1880, Catholina experienced many personal tragedies but fantastic success within his business. During that time period, seven out of eight of his children passed away. But, on the business side of things, Lambert purchased mills throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as making his business international by creating connections in Italy.
It’s unknown when Catholina and Isabella moved to New Jersey. When they originally moved to New Jersey they lived in Maplewood. But, as the years passed, Lambert collected an immense amount of art work and literary works and had no room to put it. So, he created Belle Vista, which is now known as Lambert Castle.
Lambert Castle broke ground in 1892, and was finished in 1893. But, Lambert made renovations and expansions to Lambert Castle. Although Catholina underwent many financial setbacks during 1916, which led to him selling his art collection, he lived in Lambert Castle until he passed away in 1923. Two years after Lambert passed away, his son Walter sold Lambert Castle to the City of Paterson. It wasn’t until 1934 that the Passaic County Historical Society gained control of Lambert Castle and established an official museum and library within Lambert Castle.
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