Monday, February 24, 2014

Kellie's Castle

Kellie’s Castle is an interesting site to see.  William Kellie Smith, a Scotsman of modest means and large ambition, journeys to the Far East to make his fortune.  During his time there he makes a lot of money, then loses some of it.  He meets a wealthy heiress, marries her, borrows heavily against her impending inheritance to finance his business ventures, and to impress the English gentry that he isn’t just some peat kicking nobody, begins construction on a castle.
It's an ambitious effort on his part to try to convince these inveterate snobs of his worth.  During this major undertaking, his Tamil laborers are thinned drastically by the great Spanish Flu Epidemic, he constructs a temple to placate their gods, heads back to Europe to oversee the purchase of a lift for the tower of the castle, and succumbs to pneumonia in Portugal, leaving the castle only partially finished.  His wife stays quit of Malaysia after salvaging what’s left of her fortune, and somehow the partially finished castle manages to survive the Malaysian climate long enough for the government to turn it into a rather interesting tourist attraction.
It’s a great monument to human folly and if this Scotsman was trying to leave a legacy, he kind of did.  As a Texan might say, "All hat, no cattle".

Click the image for larger picture.
Dude's name was actually Smith.

Temple to placate the angry Spanish flu gods.

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