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Bowers Mansion Museum, Carson City

(4.4/5 based on 25 reviews on the web)
Built by Lemuel Sanford 'Sandy' Bowers and his wife, Eilley Oram, in 1863, Bowers Mansion was the symbol of the great wealth the couple had amassed from their silver mine near Virginia City in the early 1860s. A rags to riches story, both Sandy and Eilley came from humble beginnings to eventually attaining great weath as some of the Comstock Lode's first millionaires. Their fortune was shortlived, however, and a combination of expensive taste and a series of bad invetments meant that after Sandy's death in 1868, Eilley struggled to maintain the propert. In 1876, the mansion was finally sold at public auction. Thereafter, Eilley became a wandering scryer, or fortuneteller, known as the Seeress of Washoe. SHe died in penury in an Oakland boardinghouse in 1903.

The mansion changed hands frequently until 1903, when a Reno brewer named Henry Riter purchased the mansion and, capitalizing on the natural beauty of Washoe Valley and the warm springs located on the property, ran it as a restort until retiring in 1946.

Upon his retirement, a group of twelve lcoal women known collectively as the Washoe County Women's Club, spearheaded a fundraising campaign to purchase the mansion for the benfit of the public. Thei efforts were successful with the help of the county comissioners, and Bowers Mansion Park has been open to the public as a place to picnic and play for over fifity years.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We took our three grand daughters ,there is a nice sized play area,nice grounds to walk around,the house was closed when we visited but i believe you can tour the house as well. 
  • Weekend tour of an extremely-well-preserved mansion with both a joyous and tragic, storied past, beginning in the 1850s. Silver riches built the mansion and when the mine played out, Sandy and Eilley ...  more »
  • This was the home of the man who hit the mother load in the Comstock.It is a wonder piece of history but if you come bring your bathing suit because it is a state park with a pool and a play ground wh...  more »
Google
  • I grew up going to this spot. As a Washoe Valley local this was the go to place. Have a picnic at the park, swim at the pool, visit the mansion and hike to the graveyard. A non expensive day of fun.
  • Beautiful historic place makes for a great family outing. The tour of Bowers Mansion was very informative and fun.
  • Great place for a family BBQ. Kids can rilled down the grassy hills, play on the playground, get some ice-cream or go swimming; while the parents can enjoy the views and history.
  • Beautiful , part of my history & memories school field trips, walking through the mansion listening to the story of the Bowers family made it more "real" to me as a kid lots of wonderful memories of time spent at the mansion & park even the campground down the road
  • Great setting. The tour is only on the weekend & we were here on a Tuesday so we didn't get to see inside.