Memphis, TN

The revival of the famous Tennessee Castle

Rooted Expeditions
The Ashlar Hall in 2022Rooted Expeditions

The story behind the Ashlar Hall, is something quite interesting. As you see this Castle like building, you start to think to yourself. What happened here. Or what's the story behind this place.

Hi I'm Zach and welcome to Rooted Expeditions. Today we will be diving into the history this Mansion holds. From originally being built as a home for a man and his family to a man who claimed to be an alien. YES, you heard me, an alien. But we will get into that in just a moment.

This castle that was built and left to decay, has finally found a owner worthy enough to take on the task to bring it back to life. With odds that might seem too difficult to face, this new owner proved that what many said was impossible, has become a reality. Hit that thumbs up and let's take a look into the events that shaped this building today.

Built in 1896, this 11,000 square foot mock Castle sat in Memphis, Tennessee on 7 acres. The home was built for a successful and well respected real estate developer by the name of Robert Snowden.
The Ashlar Hall (picture taken in 1912)Memphis Magazine

The mansion cost Robert about $25,000, which is about $725,000, in today's dollars. The mansion has two stories and also included a basement. The attic was used for the servants quarters.

Robert named the castle Ashlar Hall. The name Ashlar came from the ashlar stone that was used for the construction of the home. The stone was barged in from Indiana and set in place by masons from Nashville.

Robert would live in the home until his death in 1942. The home would be passed down to his children, but the upkeep of the home seemed to be to much for the family. Then 5 years later in 1957, the property was sold when his wife Sara died.

Investors in the city would purchase the home and the 7 acres. They would start to sell off the land around the home for about $50,000 an acre.
Ashlar hall in the 1960'sCrème de Memph

The land would sell and high rise apartment buildings would be constructed to the east and the west of mansion. Ashlar Hall itself was thought to be on it's way to being demolished since all the land was selling. But it was saved when the Ashlar Hall was purchased to be used as a restaurant.
The Ashlar Hall in the 1960's as a restaurantCrème de Memph

The home would be transformed to accommodate the restaurant and was named the Ashlar Hall Restaurant. Then in 1983, the mansion would be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The building continued as a restaurant until the 1990's when it was purchased by a man who went by the name of Prince Mongo. This man real name is Robert Hodges. Mongo claimed to be a 333 year old Prince from the Planet Zambodia. He said he was sent by Zambodian spirits to protect the city from Natural Disasters. He would dress up in these strange outfits and would wear this long blonde wig along with these steampunk goggles. He would always run for mayor, but would never get enough votes to win.
Prince Mongo former owner of the Ashlar HallLove Property

Mongo would turn the restaurant into a nightclub in the early 1990's. The night club would become well known by many people in the area for the wild and crazy parties they would have. Police were constantly being called out by neighbors complaining because of loud noises. People would be found skinny dipping in the clubs pool. There were many reports of underage drinking going on at the club. This would cause many problems for Mongo.
Mongo's flyer for the Ashlar HallAbandoned Southeast

Due to the amount of complaints, the Fire Marshal would change the nightclubs occupancy from 451 to 88. When this happened, Mongo, would end up dumping about 800 tons of sand in the parking lot to move the party outside and not have the occupancy issue.

This would not last long as Mongo continued to face many problems with the city. He eventually had no choice but to shut down the night club for good.
The Ashlar Hall sitting abandoned after Mongo left it to rot (picture 2016)Abandoned Southeast

The mansion would sit abandoned for many years decaying away. That is until 2016, when a new owner came - Juan Montoya.

Juan his wife and two daughters had moved from Colombia to the United States in the early 2000s. He would end up having two more children while living in Memphis, Tennessee.
Juan Montoya and his daughter IngridThe Ashlar Hall

Juan was a hard working and very successful man. He worked for a construction company in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly after, while working for that construction company he would start investing in properties.

While working around town, Juan would always drive by the Ashlar Hall and be amazed, saying that one day he was going to own it. He had this vision that it could be more than what it was.

While looking at the abandoned and decaying building, he would say that he wanted to remodel and bring this castle like structure back to life.
Before and After Jaun started constructionThe Ashlar Hall

In 2016, his dream of owning this property, became a reality. Juan Montoya bought the property for a very fair deal, but that would not include all the taxes and legal fees that would come with the property.

His plan was to spend about $400,000 to make this mansion fit and ready to open. But so far he has spent close to million dollars to get it in the condition it is in now. He spent about $80,000 alone to just fix the stones that needed to be replaced. The building today sits with 19 rooms, 7 bathrooms and is over 11,000 square feet.
Ashlar Hall in 2022Rooted Expeditions

Juan has already made progress in repairing the structure. He believes after the repairs and renovation are done, the building can serve as an event venue.

Juan has done a lot of the work himself, but has also hired help in hopes to get this place up and open by the end of 2022.
Juan Montoya getting the Castle ready in hopes to be open by the end of this year (2022)The Ashlar Hall

I had the privilege to explore Ashlar Hall and meet Juan and his eldest daughter, Ingrid who is helping him with the project. The building has already made a huge leap in its appearance from where it once stood.

The community had their doubts about the building being completed, but now since so much progress has been made and people have seen how much work Juan has put into this place, he has gained a lot of respect and support from the community

I look forward to seeing what this building will look like once it's finished and opened to the public. If you would like to see this place or know more information about the Ashlar Hall I will leave contact and info below.

Here is a little bit of history for you. Hit that thumbs up. Peace, I love you and as always God bless.

you can contact Juan's daughter Ingrid, let her know Rooted Expeditions sent you.

**FOR MORE INFORMATION about ASHLAR HALL CONTACT: ➡Ingrid 901-859-1212 ➡Address: 1397 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 37369 ➡Instagram: *NO TRESPASSING
The Ashlar hall in 2022Rooted Expeditions

Primary Sources:

1. The Ashlar Hall Castle on Instagram

2. Memphis Magazine

3. Crème de Memph

4. Love Property

5. Abandoned Southeast

6. Memphis Heritage

7. Wikipedia

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If you're a fan of the abandoned, historical, and strange events and locations, then you're in the right place. I post videos and articles like what you see here every week. You can stay up to date on all my current content and updates on my YouTube channel. Link in bio.

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