The Winchester Mystery House

San Jose, California


In June of 1886 Sara Pardee Winchester paid J. H. Hamm $12,750 in gold coin for nearly 45 acres of land which is today's Winchester Boulevard. The parcel included a house of 8 or 9 rooms reported to still be under construction when she purchased it. Most of the outlandishly extravagant additions seem to date from after this time. It wasn't until Sarah Winchester died at the age of 85 on September 1922 that work on her bizarre, multi-gabled 160 room house finally stopped.
The owners of the fantastic Eastlake-shingle-Queen Anne tourist attraction have cashed in on its "mystery" status through the years, but the remarkable house on which the widow of the heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company spent an estimated five million dollars is truly a marvel of craftsmanship. In recent years, it was granted State Landmark status as a unique embodiment of elaborate architectural details no longer possible to produce in any one structure.
Shortly after Mrs. Winchester's death in 1922, the house was sold and then opened to the public as the Winchester Mystery House. It was an instant success. Many people, perhaps over a million have viewed Sarah Winchester's fabulous structure covering six acres with its array of roofs towers, and spires. There are rooms with gold plated fixtures, and exquisite doors and windows of stained Tiffany glass set in silver designs, a thousand things of beauty to see, as well as practical household innovations years ahead of time. The present owners have done an excellent job of restoring the mansion rooms with furniture, antiques and artifacts of that era.
The Gardens Tour has nine major points of interest: The Estate's Greenhouse, Garage, Car Wash, Pump House, Tank House, Foreman's House, Fruit Drying Shed and Gardener's Tool Shed.
The Winchester House is located at 525 South Winchester Boulevard and is open to the public for tours the year around. For tour hours and admission prices call (408) 247-2101.


Victoiran Characteristics-Turrets & Towers

Photo-Cupid Fountain
Cupid Fountain In Gardens

Photo-Mahogany Staircase
Ornamental Fixture On Mahogany Stair Post

Photo-Stained Glass Panels
Glazed Door Panels & Windows From Tiffanys

Photo-Hall Upstairs
View of Gardens From Upstairs

Photo-Sara Winchester's Bedroom
Sara Winchester's Bedroom

Photo-Stained Glass Panels
Stained Tiffany Glass Panels

Photo-Sitting Room
Sitting Room

Photo-Mahogany Enclosed Fireplace
Mahogany Enclosed Fireplace

Panoramic View of Guest Bedroom

Photo-Stained Glass Panel
Tiffany Glass Window Over Solid Wall

Photo-Hall Upstairs
Stained Hardwood Posts & Balusters

Photo- Restored Room
Panoramic of Downstairs Room Restored With Period Furniture and Artifacts

Photo-San Jose Club Medal

Winchester Mystery House
Obverse of San Jose Coin Club 1981 Medal

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