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Oechsner's Dream Island

Williamsville Castle Gatehouse

Oechsner's Dream Island (a.k.a the Williamsville Castle) is located on a two acre island in Ellicott Creek. The limestone structures were built by hand by Ignatz Oechsner between 1917 and 1945 in homage to his Bavarian homeland. Oechsner also created extensive gardens, including paths, stone walls, steps, art, fountains, bridges and even a moat.


Lizardtail Design is working to restore these gardens, using an ecological approach. The project includes a formal garden, a cottage garden, a Japanese inspired garden and a naturalistic floodplain garden. During the restoration, invasive plant species are being removed, deteriorating walls are being properly restored and the failing non-historic shoreline will be replaced with natural shorelines stabilized with native trees and shrubs. Lizardtail is joined by landscape contractors and engineers to restore the island in a manner respectful of both the history and the natural surroundings. 

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