I don’t have much time to spend on today’s posting about our Thursday tour of the Winchester Mystery House. Cousin Phil has taken Friday off from work and we plan to meet up early this morning so he can spend the day with us. We’re looking forward to having our own personal tour-guide. 🙂
So follow along on a quick tour of the Winchester Mystery House (←link) located in San Jose, CA:
Be sure to at least read the placard (above). Learn more about Sarah Winchester and the Mystery House from the Wikipedia™ link HERE.
We chose to take the “Best Value!” Grand Estate Tour and paid $84 after receiving a $4 military veteran discount.
Here’s the entrance to the house tour (below), next to the green screen where they take your picture before going in. There were basically two tours included in our admission price. Both tours are docent-led and after we finished our tour of the house, aptly named the Grand Estate Tour, we met another guide in the garden for the second tour that was named the Behind-the-Scenes Tour.
There were no pictures or recording devices allowed inside the house. So all the pictures today are of the outside of the estate and in a few of the out-buildings where we were allowed to take pictures during the Behind-the-Scenes portion of the tour.
The website describes the Behind-the Scenes Tour as a 55-minute guided Tour which shows much of what made the estate run. Tour stops included the Stables, Fruit Drying Shed, Garage, Greenhouse, and the unfinished Ballroom… the highlight of the Behind-the-Scenes Tour is a journey down into the basement which houses the oil burning furnace and an original hydraulic cargo elevator. The basement is also the location of many ghost sightings. We didn’t see any though 🙁
Garden-side views of the mansion:
Fruit Drying Shed:
Old picture (pre-earthquake) of the Mystery House.
The garage and car wash building:
Our tour-guide points out a photo of the Winchester Estate carpenters.
Our tour guide tells us about some reported ghost sightings. The guy on the right in the picture (below) has been seen pushing a wheelbarrow in the basement by more than just a few folks.
Front view of the Grand Estate:
The christmas decorations are already going up throughout the estate. Many of the rooms we toured had their trees up already.
The front door. Reportedly never used.
Many areas of the house that were under construction at the time of Sarah Winchester’s death were abandoned and never completed:
More exterior photos:
Look closely at the windows in the pics below for any ghosts that may be looking down on us:
The door to nowhere. It’s a long step downnn…
Notice the vines growing where the brick chimney used to be. The brick chimney was destroyed during the 1906 earthquake.
Sarah Winchester’s bedroom where she passed away in her bed on September 5, 1922. All construction stopped immediately after her death at the age of 83.
What a crazy house with stairs that go nowhere, skylights in the floors, and doors that open up to walls! It was a really neat tour, I highly recommend it if you’re in the area. I wish the tour fees were a little more reasonable though.
Of course, our tour wasn’t complete until we checked out the Winchester Historic Firearms Museum located in an out-building:
Some revolvers: (These are for you brother Steven)
The WInchester rifle “Commemorative Series”:
After our tour of the Firearms Museum, we wandered through the huge gift shop:
Great tour, great day! We basically spent our entire Thursday here.
We returned to the Elks Lodge RV park with just enough time to walk our little dog ‘Coach’ before we met up again with my San Jose relatives for dinner.
We decided to take advantage of dinner inside the San Jose Elks Lodge. We went into the lodge with my cousin Beth, her husband Keith, and their daughters Daria and Anja. My cousin Phil joined us shortly thereafter on his way home from work.
The lodge had a veterans support event going on and was raffling off some quilts as we finished up our dinners:
We had three great choices for dinner which included a full soup & salad bar. The choices were Sirloin Steak, Fried Shrimp, or BBQ ribs. By all reports, the meals were delicious and they were all reasonably priced as well 🙂
Another great finish to a great day 🙂 Check back tomorrow to see where and what we get into with my cousin Phil acting as our local tour-guide…