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
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
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.