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Carson mansion fine example of Victorian design

By Catholic Online
September 8th, 2010
Catholic Online (

Built out of redwood and 97,000 feet of white mahogany from Central America, onyx from East India, Mexico and the Philippines, the Carson mansion, located in Eureka, California, continues to draw admirers to this day. The home is widely recognized to be the most photographed and written about Victorian house in the United States.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Built for William Carson, one of Northern California's first major lumber barons, the baroque mansion took more than 100 men and over two years to construct.

After failing to strike it rich in the California Gold Rush, Carson took to the forests of Northern California to fell shiploads of Redwood lumber bound for San Francisco. After ten years of working in the woods in addition to mining, Carson formed the Dolbeer and Carson Lumber Company with John Dolbeer. The company later invented the steam donkey engine, revolutionizing the industry. Carson's company was producing 15,000,000 board feet of lumber every year by the 1880s.

Noted for its detailed woodwork and graceful arches, the Carson family sold the mansion in 1950 to the private Ingomar Club. The organization still owns the home - and does not allow tours inside the structure. The rare visitor inside the home is treated to beautiful stained glass designs, plasterwork and carved ornaments in various exotic woods.

The property today is virtually in the same condition as when it was built. While it could easily join the National Register of Historic Places, the Ingomar Club carefully guards its privacy, refusing to allow any outside influence. Visitors to Eureka are allowed to take photographs outside the property.

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