When Dr. Carl Soderstrom became the owner of the castle, it didn’t take long for him to realize that it was full of mystery.
" “There’s sounds, there’s footsteps,” Soderstrom said. “Sometimes, when you come by here, there’s smoke coming from the chimney...and there’s no one here.” Dr. Soderstrom said he never could find the source of the phenomenon, so about three years ago he started thinking seriously about doing something to protect his home and all who enter. "
Curry, Joellyn. “Iconic Grandview Drive Castle Boasts Fire-Breathing Protectors.” Courier Newspapers, 1 Nov. 2017
He contacted his good friend, world-renowned sculptor Lonnie Stewart, famous in the international art world. Soderstrom originally planned lions as guardians to the entrance, but Stewart had the concept of a more dramatic display, involving smoke and fire-breathing dragons.
That idea set in motion the idea of the dragons, which took Stewart to Las Vegas, where he contracted pyro-technician Ed Pratt. Pratt specializes in pyrotechnics and has worked with celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Vegas magicians Siegfried and Roy. After two years of intensive designing and fabricating, the dragons were ready to be installed.
Did You Know? Both dragons were made of galvanized bronze. The female dragon Allula, on the left, protects her nest of three eggs, while the male, Mosta holds the Soderstrom crest.
This complex process took years to complete and each dragon comprises of over 150 individual pieces. Kyle Chipman performed the fabrication of each component at the foundry with Lonnie Stewarts guidance.
To celebrate the introduction of the dragons, Soderstrom planned a medieval-themed unveiling party complete with music by Barry Cloyd, who wrote a special song for the occasion.
The crowd was astonished when the dragons displayed their smoke and fire-breathing capability. A blessing of the castle and its new protectors were blessed by Soderstrom's priest.