Subterra Castle, Dover, KS


Dover, Kansas has quite a rich history since it was founded in 1860. There are several commercial buildings that are still standing where K-4 and 57th Street intersect. There is a large Girl Scout Camp about two miles south of the town. Echo Cliff is a fifty foot high cliff that is just west of the town. Settlers from Britain were the first people to live in Dover.

The city was once very prosperous as it was on the path of the Southwest Trail. This was used as a connection point for people using the Oregon Trail through Topeka to get to the Santa Fe Trail. Mission Creek which ran along the trail could only be crossed in two places and one of them was Dover. An inn was built by the Sage Family to provide food, a place to change horses or even spend the night. The location was at the halfway point between the trails.

While the city was at its peak they had a business that produced wagons, a factory that made matches, a couple of grist mills, a Stage Coach Station, blacksmiths, a livery stable, and a General Store. It was also home to three cheese factories. Two of these factories produced a lot of the cheese in the United States. Visitors that come to the area can see the 1878 stone Sage Inn & Stage Coach Station, the General Store and the Subterra Castle.

The Subterra used to house an Atlas E intercontinental ballistic missile with a 4 megaton warhead. It was stored in the underground cave that is now the Subterra Castle. This site has been featured on many television shows around the world.

Thirty four acres are part of the estate that now belongs to Edward and Dianna Peden. They have lived in the underground property since 1994. Tours and special events are part of the fun of the Subterra Castle.

The exterior of the Subterra Castle contains a half mile of paved driveway and a security fence around the central area. There is a three room cabin with utilities that measures 450 square feet. Two observation towers are on the premises and a one acre stocked pond complete with a dock and sand beach. Another rustic cabin, a ceremonial stone circle, fire pit, RV hook up, wood fired outdoor sauna, gardens water and cistern water storage and a chicken house and yard are also part of the exterior. A 1700 foot grass air strip is also there.

Part of the 11,000 square foot underground is a shop/garage. There is a 47 yard drive-in door and a diesel generator. Entry tunnels are 150 feet of the underground area. A massive 6,500 square foot of living space is underground. The underground home comprises three levels. The great room has a stage. A foyer contains information on the history of the missile site. Audio and music equipment, hand drums and a library/study make up some of the area. There are four bedrooms, three sleeping nooks, two bathrooms, a two story apartment, domestic and commercial kitchens, a hot tub, passive solar, an entry to a greenhouse and a reverse osmosis water system.

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