This Depression-era ‘palace’ could be strangest house in NJ
If you love the creepy, strange, intriguing, haunted, or just odd places in America then this is a location you need to put on your must-visit list.
I don't know if it's haunted, but it is the strangest home I have ever been in.
This odd mansion is located in South Jersey and comes complete with its own indoor well and dungeon. Truly an odd home, which is one of the strangest places I have ever visited here in the Garden State.
Currently, you can not tour the palace because it's going through extensive restoration, but they promise to keep visitors posted as to when they will reopen. I had a chance to tour the palace before the restoration project began.
It is definitely a place that falls under the category of "Weird New Jersey" the "Palace of Depression" in Cumberland County in Vineland. Don't let the name fool you — it's not a state of mind, it's an era.
George Daynor was living in Alaska when, according to legend, he received a message from an angel to go to New Jersey and build something special. Daynor left Alaska and headed to the Garden State, he heard a town called Vineland was selling land, and at one dollar an acre he purchased 4 acres with his last $4.
The land he bought was a junkyard in a swamp. It was during the "Great Depression" and so many Americans were struggling terribly. Daynor decided to build a "palace" out of only ordinary items that he could find on the property....making something beautiful out of nothing.
Daynor began construction in 1929 and his palace opened to the public on Christmas Day 1932. It was a big tourist attraction back in the '30s and '40s. The building was terribly damaged during the '60s and now it's being rebuilt by concerned residents exactly as it was back in the day except some areas were widened to make them handicapped accessible.
Daynor built the home with no heat (fireplaces) no water (wells) and no electricity. He actually built wells into the house and would draw water from below and bring it into the home.
During our tour, it was said some thought Daynor was a genius and some thought he was crazy. I am going on record as saying I believe he was crazy, possibly very intelligent, but more eccentric than genius.
One of the strangest parts of his "palace" is a dungeon he built in the basement. Who has a dungeon? He said it was to trap the Jersey Devil when it visited!
The building itself is very interesting and the folks doing the reconstruction have done a great job and they are getting closer to total completion. Check out more about the house below.