Rock Castle Drive

“Gould Castle” is gone but its memory lives on in Castle Road (named by 1927) and Rock Castle Drive (named in 1955). No connection to Will D. Gould, he of Gould Avenue fame, the castle was constructed in 1891-1892 as a home for May Gould (1856-1930) and her husband Eugene (1857-1929). May was born May Isabel Briggs in Marysville and grew up around Davis. Her father George was one of California’s wealthiest fruit growers, and it’s been posited that May accompanied him on a “raisin tour” of Spain which would later inspire her to build a Spanish-style castle. In 1881, she married Eugene Henry Gould, a Santa Clara boy who reportedly supervised the Briggs vineyards. George Briggs died in 1885 and May inherited a tidy sum, so six years later she, Eugene, and their two sons came down to La Crescenta and started building their grand stone fortress on land that May had bought from her uncle Benjamin (see Briggs Avenue). A daughter, Dorothy, was born here, but the Goulds skipped town in 1897 due to mounting debts. They flitted around SoCal for years before winding up in L.A.’s Cypress Park neighborhood. As for Dorothy, she met an unhappy end at 25 when she accidentally ate a poisonous toadstool. The old house, which acquired the “Gould Castle” moniker only after the Goulds left and the Cohen family took over, was torn down in 1955. It was located just north of Canalda Drive.