The Knights of Pythias are a fraternal order similar to the Masons or Knights of Columbus. In the early 20th century, they built a home for widows and orphans of their members in Weatherford, Texas. Considering themselves New World Knights, this home was built in the form of a castle.
Eventually, more domitories were added to each side, leaving a truly massive structure.
At its’ height, about 500 people lived here. They raised their own food and worked around the place to pay for their room and board. As society began to take better care of its orphans and widows, Pythian House was no longer so needed. Currently, it holds only about 50 kids. They are not allowed to raise their own food any more and the nice little gatehouse has fallen into disrepair.
The Pythian House can be seen from the Interstate in Weatherford. My father had visitors from Europe who were very curious about the castle in the middle of Texas. My father simply told them that there were lots of castles in Europe, and we had castles, too.