Cadillac Joe’s Stone House

This Guy’s Got Some Serious Stones
Crazy Stone House, Minortown/Woodbury

March 23, 2009 & December 4, 2010 Update

Believe it or not, I’ve gotten not one, but two emails over the last year asking me (ME!?) about this structure. Google searches for “crazy stone house woodbury ct” hit this blog and only this blog because I listed it a few years ago as something to see. Alas, I had completely forgotten where I read about it originally, but I did note where it was located.


And so, after an incredible lunch at the Carol Peck’s singular Good News Café in Woodbury, Hoang and I drove up Route 6 in search of the house… thing. With eyes peeled on both sides of the road heading north out of town, we began wondering if we’d missed it.

Um, that’s not gonna happen. A blind man wouldn’t miss this massive stone structure, looming over the road on top of a small hill. So what’s the deal and why am I writing about it? I’m still really not sure, but I did find where I originally read about it – Susan Campbell’s “Connecticut Curiosities.” And since there seems to be nothing else ever written about this house thing, I turn to her for an explanation, such as it is:

They call him Cadillac Joe because he’s usually seen driving a Cadillac. He shuns the spotlight and is known to reside in Bridgeport and commute to the strange structure on weekends – an ongoing project that he has worked on for years.

Most people call the structure the “Stone House” because it is built predominantly of stone. It is a weird, imposing edifice with intricately set chimneys in very ornate, artistic shapes. The variety of styles at play make this home on Route 6 between Woodbury and Minortown [which is a section of Woodbury - Steve] a site you can’t miss as you pass by. It looks to be part church, part ski lodge, and part Roman temple. But the details of the house and its history are a little bit of a mystery.


“The owner doesn’t seem to crave publicity,” says a Woodbury town official we’ll keep anonymous. “He has been doing all the work himself, to my knowledge. A lot of the stonework is magnificent too. The house itself is all steel-beam construction and there’s a roaring stream out back, so there may originally have been a mill or factory at the site.”

There is certainly a lot of industrial equipment there these days such as a brace of bulldozers parked as though they are sleeping dinosaurs.

It’s been 8 years since this was written and yes, this is still the case – as you can sort of see in my pictures. So to sum up, this is essentially the work of an eccentric guy with some construction skills, money and apparently a lot of time on his hands. If anyone knows anything more, please let me know.

December 4, 2010 Update

cjAfter I posted this, the hits just kept on coming. People love the crazy Woodbury stone house. I had more or less forgotten about this place until a few weeks ago while driving around up in North Granby with Hoang – you know, a typical CTMQ Saturday going to large trees and buying local cheese – when Hoang said, “isn’t that crazy stone house thing around here?” Quickly realizing that not many people have the insane recall for exact geographic memory like I do, I politely suggested that no, the crazy stone house thing is many miles south and west on Route 6 in the Minortown section of Woodbury.

So imagine my excitement a few weeks later when we found ourselves on another typical CTMQ Saturday going to gingerbread villages, abbeys and labyrinths with a drive along Route 6 in Woodbury. “Hey, want to check out that crazy stone house thing you thought was in North Granby?”

So yes, we did. And before we knew it, we were in the presence (in a way) of Cadillac Joe himself! The guy responsible for this monstrosity! I took a picture at speed and just got the Cadillac. So I turned around and Hoang snapped another picture at slower speed, but it still stinks, though we can see Joe’s hat in it. So I turned around again, fully intending to get a real picture of the man, the myth, the legend, and…


He and his lumbering Cadillac had VANISHED!

Update to the Update!

Regular reader Debbie supplied This link, in the comments below which sort of shows how elusive Cadillac Joe is. There is also a very worthwhile comment at the bottom of that page from someone who seems to know Mr. Joe personally. I love this stuff.

Anyway, before I knew it, Debbie alerted me to one of the more exciting Google StreetView sets of images I’ve ever seen. Enjoy… First we see the Cadillac I was able to get a couple pictures of:


Okay, that’s pretty exciting. But then Debbie pointed out the other side of route 6 and could it be!? Possibly just maybe?! The elusive Cadillac Joe, perhaps hunting for more stone for his crazy house spies the Google car…


Scurries away as fast as he can…


To no avail! StreetView caught ya!

Run, Joe, Run!

Actually, I don’t think that’s him, as he looked far more slight when I passed him in the car. At any rate, I love that a reader found this and brought it to my attention. I love my blog sometimes.

22 responses to “Cadillac Joe’s Stone House”

  1. Carrie Andrews says:

    We are in the car retrieval and hauling business and had a chance to see this site yesterday. It certainly has a macabre yet curious, presence especially in the dark cloudy misting rain we had yesterday. I would love to know more about this place but more so actually walk on the property and really see it.

    Can wait to take my kids for a ride out there…both are preparing for college and are interested in architecture.

  2. Ellen says:

    I would love to know more about this house. I ride buy this all the time. I would love to stop and check it out, but theres really no place to park.

  3. Noelle says:

    My favorite part of that place is the pathway down the stone steps to a little patio with all these columns and arches…then as you go around to the back stone wall you realize your view is of a straight drop into the woods! An amazing structure, that place…too bad it will probably never see itself finished.

  4. Debbie says:

    You might like this link.

  5. Peter says:

    It’s a Lincoln, not a Cadillac.

  6. Steve says:

    If true (and I have no reason not to think it is), that’s hilarious, Peter.

    Even so, “Lincoln Joe” doesn’t have the same ring.

  7. Mr M says:

    Many years ago, I worked for a friend of Joe in a cabinet shop in Ansonia. Joe would mostly come around the shop during the winter and hang out (retired), but sometimes other days of the year.
    It’s true. He lives in Bridgeport and works at the Woodbury house on weekends mostly. He’s tough as nails, but has a heart of gold and truly is a great guy.
    He’s probably 5′ tall, high forehead (to balding), and barrel chested. He’s also of Italian extraction.
    I haven’t seen him in ages though. One of these days, I’ll have to track him down and get him to sign my copy of Susan Campbell’s book. (My old boss passed away, so his Bridgeport contact info is unknown.) He’d get a kick out me asking for his autograph! Always wanted to see the “Great Wall of Woodbury” (as we used to call it) and the house in the flesh. Might need to wend my way up there one weekend when the weather gets nice again.

  8. Bonnyc says:

    I have been passing this great landmark for years and remember when it was much less finished looking. He has made remarkable progress considering he seems to be a one guy operation. Talk about perseverance! Anyway, I was driving by last weekend after my turn sitting at the gallery I belong to, (the Fine Line Art Gallery) in Woodbury, and I noticed that some very mean spirited individuals have broken the glass in some of the big windows. It is very sad to think that this unassuming,private guy who just wants to work on his dream has to contend with this vandalism. Unfortunately, the house is a bit isolated and too easy a target for this type of activity. Keep going Cadillac Joe, I’m root in’ for you!

  9. Rose says:

    We just drove by it for the first time yesterday…I LOVE IT!!!
    I’m sure he has a valid reason for what he is doing…
    let the guy be…we all have our dreams…

  10. dawne catuccio says:

    5 ars ago my daughter danced at woodbury ballet they were doing the balet bram stokers dracula in the fall.i was their photographer and was looking for a place to take publicity shots with dancers and didnt want to use a common cemetary.i drove past this house every day and one morning saw the car there and went to ask permission to use house as backdrop for pics. i spent the whole morning talking to joe and he took me thru house and told me his plans i began to realize he is an ecenteric man who talent and vision.The back of the house has a beautiful running stream thru it.There are old cadallics in bottom floor vandalized by kids who go there at nite to drink.i have to admit there was a time were i thought omg nobody knows im here what if he is crazy hits me over head puts be in one of his old cars. thats from too much tv.he is a kind harmless man and told me he really didnt want that kind of publicity and would rather not let me use house.I felt privilaged that he spent time with me and respected his wishes. funny i drove by yesterday and the lady i was with asked about house so i was looking it up and came upon the site.

  11. Staci says:

    Thanks everyone for all your stories on Cadillac (Lincoln) Joe, I have always wondered why such a beautiful house, was never finished and was just standing vacant.. for everyone that has never seen this house, you really need to check it out! Again, thanks everyone for all the info!

    Steve, I really want thank you & your family, for an AMAZING website/blog!! I just found it, and can’t tell you, how happy I am, you have so much useful information, and I can’t wait to share this site with my friends! It’s pretty sad that I grew up here all my life(that’s 37 years, to be exact), and you aren’t orginally from here, and have found more places, things to do, places to eat, landmarks, museums, and just fun and quirky things to do & see!! Thank you!!!

  12. GT Yankee says:

    I too wondered about this building, i return to Connecticut every year or two, most of my family live in Watertown, i left there in 1962 & moved to San Diego.
    I wanted a few pictures of the building & no one was around.
    I stopped at the Charcoal Chef just up the road a piece & inquired about the property. The gentleman that i talked to came out from the kitchen, i don’t know what he thought about me, i am in my late 60′s & i look like Jerry Garcia, long hair, beard & all.

    I was told that originally the building was mostly wood & Cadillac Joe had to decided to make it into stone.
    There are piles of old brick just off to the side of the building now & i noted the broken windows, it burned me that someone would damage such an interesting place.
    I was also told that Cadillac Joe is now in his 80′s & doesn’t work on it as much as he would like to. Apparently he has a son or another relative that may finish the job.
    I personally would love to see it when it is completed, but i am happy for now that someone had a dream & set out to make it happen.

    I believe if you type into your browser
    Abandoned houses or buildings Woodbury Ct
    there is a bit more information along with some good photos

  13. GT Yankee says:

    Here is the site that i mentioned

  14. chrissy says:

    I stopped by this house last winter to check it out. the inside is mostly filled with boards and tools, maybe a few random trinkets, but is unfinished. i think there was a stone fireplace, if i remember correctly. i do remember, however, seeing new footprints in the snow leading to the door in which we entered; inside someone had left a plate of cookies or some baked good (we didn’t open it) wrapped in tin foil with a note on top…don’t remember what it said, but it might have been a christmas offering.

  15. Woodbury Resident says:

    This is private property and should not be entered without permission. I am looking at you chrissy.

  16. jill says:

    I was there today…. I had my camera as I do every weekend when I go out to find interesting things to take photos of. The place is very over grown… It doesn’t look like it has been worked on in a long time. I took some beautiful photos in the silence… I didn’t touch anything or move anything… Just enjoyed its quiet beauty. Its in quite shambles actually. I would like some more info on the place as I am interested in whether not the property will be up for sale soon..

  17. allie says:

    My sister and I just saw this structure yesterday( 7-31-13 ). It really caught our eye. We asked a waitress about it but I guess she was too young to know about it. I took pics and we also noticed the stone pillars among much overgrowth across the street to what must be the gate entrance to maybe the home site of the original owners, tho we didnt see any homestead.
    It definitely lookes like it hasn’t been touched in many years. But what a beautiful home it could be converted into. So glad we “came upon this gem”.

  18. Jeanne says:

    Nice to know a little history. We just passed it on Sunday aug 4, 2013. It caught our eye as so much work seemed to be happening. If anyone on here knows how to get in touch with the owners of the eagle rusty sculpters up on Rt 6. I’d appreciate a phone no. Thanks.

  19. Mary says:

    I moved to Woodbury in 1987 left in 2007 In 1987 the weirdo stone building was being worked on in 1987, It doesn’t look like hes made much progress, Thinking back, when we first saw him sitting across the street from his building (having a bottle of wine),he looked middle aged then, so don’t know if its the same fellow,he would be on in years Ive have always wondered how he gets building permits for construction in Woodbury

  20. Scott says:

    Howdy folks, my property nearly abutts the river side of the stone house. I have been visiting the river front for close to a decade. As was stated by another, the home contains a plentitude of materials that were intended for use. However, the house is nothing but a stone shell, a mighty impressive edifice, that is destined to sit there for all times, unfinished, until the earth beneath the structure gives way to erosion and the building crumbles down the shear backdrop to the river below. Although some of the damage seems like vandalism, the elements have begun to take their toll. Parts of the once upright walls have begun to crumble. It would literally take millions, if not tens of millions to actually make the structure livable. This is not to say what has been done is not monumental, because the stonemanship is amazing. Doubtfully, no one would really want to endure this kind of project. This was probably started in the early sixties or possibly earlier, the numerous cadilacs present are from this era. What will be interesting is who will adopt this place and what might they do..? I suspect that no matter who winds up as the owner, the cost to continue is not remotely worth the investment. Even to take it down would be costly, and the land is not worth the investment. The ledges directly behind the house drop dramitically and I have observed significant erosion in the short time I have been exploring this gorge.. Whether its in 50 or 500 years, the stone house will meet its demise as the ground beneath the stone foundation will buckle and slide towards the Nonnewaug river below. May we marvel at its oddly dark and beautiful presence while it remains.

  21. John says:

    Jeanne, If you have a facebook account, go and look up “Eagles Watching Over You”. That should give you the info you need. They are fantastic pieces of art.

  22. Mary says:

    Just Wow.

    I have been trying to locate, online, information about a mysterious looking stone structure on Rt 6 through Woodbury that I drove past a few times back in the 2000′s (I’m from Bristol!). I thought it was leftover ruins from some 17th century church or possibly castle. Had no idea it was just in the starting phase of building. Really, **** me ;)

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