Madame Sherri | New Hampshire's Most Eccentric Resident?
Sherri had finally hit rock bottom. Brattleboro attorney John S. Burgess was contracted to act as her guardian on a pro bono basis, and she moved into the Poor Farm on the outskirts of town.The end came for Sherri’s beloved castle on October 20, 1962, when it burned to the ground, leaving only the stone foundation behind. Far from being concerned about this turn of events, she only basked in her brief return to notoriety.
On July 16, 1963, Charles LeMaire foreclosed on the property. A couple of years later, it was sold to local resident Ann Stokes, who was determined to maintain the land in its pristine state. She went to visit Sherri, in order to tell her that area would be preserved; sadly, she was too deep in dementia to really understand what she was being told. “Tell me something nice,” she kept telling Stokes. “Tell me something to make me happy.”
Sherri expired on October 21, 1965, ironically on the very same day that the sale was finalized. Ann Stokes hung onto the property until 1998, when, tired of cleaning up beer cans and rubbish, she turned it over to the New Hampshire Society for the Preservation of Forests, which maintains it to this day.
Visiting the site today, it’s easy to imagine it in happier times. The staircase still stands, mute testimony to Madame Sherri’s glory days. You can almost see her coming down the stairs, dressed in the height of fashion, crowned by a hairdo that seemed to reach to the heavens.
“Bebes!” she would cry to the arriving guests. “Mes cheres! Please enter and enjoy yourselves!”
Want to learn more about one of New Hampshire’s most infamous residents? Read the book: Madame Sherri by Eric Stanway.