Tour Havencrest Castle a Time of Endless Passion in Savannah, Il
SAVANNA (IL): The Illinois River Valley becomes particularly beautiful as the seasons’ change and the fall colors arrive. October also marks the time when Alan St. George opens his home of Havencrest Castle for public tours. St. George is among the fascinating people in America. His life and story offer examples of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. But, mainly, St. George affords us all a living example of the way God intended love to be. One man, with one woman, in a never-ending passion for all eternity.
Alan St. George first laid eyes on a very pretty young girl. Adrianne Blue Wakefield, at the tender age of 13. It was love at first sight. But we are getting a little ahead of ourselves in this love story.
St. George was a young artist beginning his classical training in art from The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
His working life began in 1972 when he turned his classical artist’s training with a flair for monster makeup into a career as a costume maker. As a 19-year-old, St. George started a small company creating mascot costumes in his parent’s Chicagoland home basement. He noticed that he had very little in the way of competition–filling a market niche. Opening a small storefront in Oak Park, St. Geroge found the seasonal pace (Halloween being the big one).
He wanted something more.
St. George started concentrating on mail-order sales and his business, Facemakers Incorporated, exploding with the message he could turn your “fantasy into reality.” At Facemakers, Inc., they create elaborate custom costumes of everything from sports mascots to cartoon characters to Hollywood costumes. All bearing the Made in the USA label. St. George promises he and his staff can create whatever a customer can dream up. For example, he shares copyright with another company for the ‘Smokey the Bear’ costume creation of the Federal Government.
Other customers he can proudly namedrop include Disney, the Olympics, the White House, Hollywood movie studios, and the thousands of high schools and universities sports teams worldwide.
Facemakers offers over 350 stock standard designs anybody can purchase.
Others originate from a customer’s idea and are copyrighted and produced as custom designs. While a stock padded costume can sell for as little as $500, custom designs can cost $5,000 or more. The process begins with a clay mold of the figure’s head sculpted by hand. This is then re-created in a fiberglass composite to be durable and relatively lightweight.
Sometimes a battery-powered fan has to be included in the design to draw fresh air into the costume to prevent the one wearing a costume from overheating on sunny days. Foam rubber, fabric, spandex, and fleece become the creation’s exterior.
‘Havencrest Castle Fantasy Head (Part 1) SD 480p’ –
Along the way, Alan St. George reconnected with an exceptional lady, Adrianne Blue Wakefield.
As with any good fantasy fairytale, they met, fell in love, and were married. She and Alan W. St. George were married on March 21, 1975, in Wilmette, Illinois, at 3:00 pm. Mrs. St. George often saying, “The day I was married was the happiest day of my life.”
In 1976, after a four-state search for a suitable home and studio, the St. George’s found a mansion atop a hill in Savanna, Illinois. That home would evolve into Havencrest Castle. It sits on a wooded crest where you can look down on the small Mississippi River town of Savanna and catch a glimpse of the Mississippi River itself.
In 1989, St. George moved Facemakers into an abandoned three-story brick elementary school just down the hill from his home.
Mrs. St. George often told people her favorite title was that of “wife.”
However, Adrianne was quite the creative person in her own right! She authored an autobiography, ‘A Very Special Person, a book of etiquette, ‘Millennial Manners,’ and illustrating a series of children’s books for Dr. Vickery of Lena, Illinois. In a children’s fairytale, Adrianne even wrote, produced, and starred, ‘The Day the Queen of Cold Got a Facelift.’ In addition, she wrote and produced ‘Havencrest Castle, History and Tour.’ Both of these productions filming on location at Havencrest.
Giving back to where she lived and loved, she was the original founding member of the Carroll County Humane Society.
As the St. George’s began to transform their Savanna mansion into a castle, they soon began to host elaborate dinner parties for guests, often to benefit charities. At these events, the St. Geroge’s would appear dressed as royalty. But, of course, you can do that sort of thing when you own your own costume company! The motto of Havencrest Castle is, “Reality is for those who lack imagination,” engraved in areas throughout the home.
‘Savanna Illinois | Havencrest Castle’ – WHBF with Brittany Price
St. George’s business success allowed him to assume the title of “King” of the Havencrest Castle. And, of course, Adrianna was his queen.
Together, the two could indulge their penchant for make-believe in their 1901 mansion castle. Over two decades, they expanded and transformed the original 23-room home into a 64-room canvas showing their combined artistic talents. Those talents are visible in stained glass, Italian marble sculptures, ceiling paintings, and stucco sculptures. Oil paintings of St. George and his wife are everywhere, often portrayed as medieval figures.
Paintings show their faces as cherubs floating on clouds and sculptures decorating the ornate library.
St. George modeled and finished his first scale replica of Charles Wilson’s famous Titanic Clock in 1999.
Havencrest Castle’s Memorial Hall has the distinction of featuring full-sized, historically accurate replicas from the RMS Titanic. Including the first-class Grand Staircase and Dining Saloon and a reproduction of the famous stairway clock.
Alan and Adrianna shared a fascination for the Titanic and its Victorian décor leading to a Titanic-themed sit-down dinner for 20 guests in their home. The theatrically authentic event recreating the actual first-class dining room’s menu. A 3-foot model of the ship adorned the center of the table. Their guests taking home a piece of Titanic coal.
As the old expression goes, “All good things must come to an end.”
IN 2006 Adrianne St. George passed away of heart failure after being diagnosed just two days prior. She died in her home of Havencrest Castle as a queen with her king by her side. She was 55. Like so many men, Alan St. George has a fascination with old timepieces. However, all the clocks are stopped at 3:00 pm when he married Adrianne back in 1975.
The king has been without his queen for 15 years this year. The St. George’s had a motto they lived by. “‘Semper nos’ Latin for ‘always us’.
“It’s the idea that marriage goes beyond life,” St. George says. That motto appears everywhere in the castle.
Alan St. George suffered some downtime through the grieving process, but friends convinced him to open their marital home to the public and keep up his art. He listened and did both. As a result, Havencrest Castle is open weekends through October from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm for an entry fee. You can purchase tickets and learn more about the experience on their website.
“Marriage goes beyond life. We are married, we’re still married, not till death but eternally. So she’s always on my mind and heart, and she always will be.” – Alan St. George.
Some people are living examples of how we should all live our lives. For instance, Alan St. George is an artist, entrepreneur, and husband. But, like his wife who went before him, it is easy to see the most cherished title he holds is ‘husband.’
About the author:
Mark Schwendau is a conservative Christian patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development). He prides himself on his critical thinking ability. Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “bringing little known facts to people who want to know the truth.”
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