In the world we live in today, it’s pretty impossible to imagine a time where extreme opulence was relatively normal. That’s all I can think of when I look at pictures of the Carson Mansion in Eureka, CA.
Not only will I NOT be building my own house when the time comes, but I definitely won’t be sourcing craftsmen from around the world to carve the bust of a pheasant into the (freshly-fallen) redwood walls of my massive ballroom; nor matching 400 thirty-foot silk draperies to the exact color of a sculpture I purchased in India during a round-the-world steamboat voyage. That’s kind of what William Carson did when he started building his extravagant home in 1884, during the height of the Queen Anne style of architecture.
Carson left his home in Canada in 1849, hoping to make it rich during the gold rush. While he didn’t find ore, he started one of the first commercial lumber industries in the world. By 1853 he was selling shiploads of lumber to developers in San Francisco, and later invested in milling operations bound for Southern California. Carson’s Humboldt county wood surely played a huge role in launching both San Francisco and Los Angeles as major metropolitan areas. Pretty insane to fathom.
The house isn’t exactly large by mansion standards – look at the mansions in NY and RI (one and two, for starters) and you’ll see what I’m saying. To compensate, the inside of the house looks like a gilded palace. It’s ornate, beautiful, and totally creepy and twisted all at once. I mean, I love it, but I could never live in such a dark and detailed gothic cave. Maybe I’m the weird one.
Uncategorized | Tags: carson mansion, eureka ca, norcal, victorian style | 1 comment