Meet Mason Louiselle
Mason Louiselle is only 17 years old, but he’s seen a lot in his three years working at the Castle as part of the Event staff. He was only 14 when his grandfather Chet (one of the Castle’s full-time gardeners) told him about the job. Mason was quick to jump at the opportunity. “Working at the Castle is very different from the typical summer jobs most of my friends have. They’re working behind counters, or at marinas, while I get to work with weddings, and help at different events. Being at the Castle is totally unique. I think it’s really cool. Plus, I get to work with my grandfather. Sometimes we have breakfast together before starting our day. That’s cool, too.”
As part of the Event staff, Mason’s day usually starts before most people get out of bed. “I’m at the Castle by 6 am and usually work until 3 pm, depending on what’s scheduled,” he says. Event staff responsibilities include setting up the different rooms with the correct number of tables, candle centerpieces, chairs and linens to match the number of guests who’ll be attending the next event. In a matter of 7-8 hours, a venue which only hours before was filled with music, dining and dancing, will be broken down (by Assistant Coordinators), cleaned (by Housekeepers), and re-set by Mason and the other 11 members of the team. “Being here at the Castle, I’ve learned a lot about communication and teamwork,” Mason says. “Those things are crucial, especially on busy event days.” Mason works directly with Castle guests, showing them where to park, then directing them to the proper location. Guests often ask him questions, and Mason enjoys being able to share historical insights about the Castle he loves.
“Even when I eventually go off to college, I want to come back to Castle Farms and work during the summers. You can’t get a job like this anywhere else.” Mason appreciates being able to keep busy. “There’s never a dull moment at the Castle, especially when you’re a member of the Event staff.” One of his most memorable experiences occurred during his first summer on the job. It was a busy festival day, with more than 2,000 people on property. Mason was called to assist in rescuing a BMW automobile that had jammed itself into the Castle’s automatic gate; once that was cleared, he immediately had to switch gears and assist at an outdoor wedding that was ‘called’ due to threat of rain. Mason and the entire event staff quickly got to work. Within minutes, they were able to move the outdoor ceremony into the indoor rain plan location. Once set up was complete, and the bride started down the aisle, Mason returned to assist with festival guests.
Mason loves baseball, and plays for the Charlevoix High School team as pitcher. He hopes someday to play on a college baseball team. Whether he makes it to the pros or not remains to be seen, but he knows his future includes a career that involves athletic training. Mason loves sports, which gives him yet one more thing in common with former workers at the Castle (Loeb Farms, 1918-1927), who needed something to do on their evenings and days off. They formed a baseball team named the Sodbusters and played other area baseball teams, including East Jordan, Petoskey, and Harbor Springs. The Sodbusters went on to achieve semi-pro status. The team disbanded after 1923 when their lead pitcher (who worked with the dairy cows) was drafted by the Cleveland Indians. Mason enjoys sharing the story of the Sodbusters with guests, and often points out the remnants of the baseball field, stone dugout and bleachers which still stand today. He’s an annual participant in the local 4th of July baseball game between a private homeowners’ association and Castle Farms.
While we wish Mason much future success, we selfishly hope to keep him on staff as part of the Castle’s Event team (and baseball team too) for as long as possible. What does Mason have to say about that? He just grins. “Batter up!”