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August 03 , 2009

The Fantastic Castle of Vineland

George Daynor and the Palace Depression


At the height of the Great Depression, an eccentric man named George Daynor arrived in Vineland. He was rumored to have amassed a fortune during the gold rush only to lose it in the crash of 1929. Daynor invested in a piece of barren land that nobody else wanted and—believing that he was guided by angels—built a “palace” from car parts, trash, bits of stone and anything else he could find. The Palace Depression, as it came to be known, was one man’s testament to surviving the hard times, and hundreds of thousands flocked to its gates over the next two decades. A misguided publicity stunt landed Daynor in jail, and after his incarceration and death, the palace deteriorated and was torn down in the 1960s. Yet the memory lingered for some local residents who started a movement to rebuild. Discover Vineland’s mysterious story of Daynor and his palace.

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