CALIFORNIA FOCUS / RECAP: Winchester Mystery House
For nearly 100 years the Winchester Mystery House has stood as a testament to the ingenuity, persistence of vision and lore that surrounds its namesake, Sarah Winchester (heir to the Winchester Repeating Rifle fortune). A true pioneer who crisscrossed the United States via steam train many times during the waning days of the “wild west,” Sarah Winchester lives on in legend as a grieving widow who continuously built onto her small farm house to appease the spirits of those killed by the guns manufactured by her husband’s firearms company. The mansion is renowned for its many architectural curiosities and paranormal activity (TIME magazine cited it among the “Top 10 Haunted Places”). From 1884-1922 construction never ceased as the original farm house grew into the world’s most unusual and sprawling mansion (24,000 square feet built at a then astronomical cost of $5.5 million), featuring: 160 rooms, 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, 47 fireplaces, 40 staircases, 13 bathrooms and 9 kitchens. The estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a California Historic State Landmark, a San Jose City Landmark and one of the leading attractions in the Bay Area. Additional information may be found at WinchesterMysteryHouse.com.