The Molly Brown House, or the House of Lions, is located at 1340 Pennsylvania Street in Denver, CO. It was the home of the “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” the philanthropist and socialite Margaret Brown survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912. The museum now presents exhibits and items from her life. Also, they placed it on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Margaret’s survival of the Titanic tragedy helped her gain a platform to promote issues she felt strongly about. These included women’s rights, workers’ rights, education, stronger literacy, and historic preservation. If Ms. Brown knew about this preservation, she would be happy.
They built the home in the 1880s and incorporated various styles, especially the Queen Anne style of architecture, which was largely popular. At the time, the owners, Isaac and Mary Large, experienced a financial downturn from the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893 and were forced to sell the house, which is when Molly’s husband, James, purchased it. Unfortunately, the home’s condition deteriorated after Molly’s death and was set for demolition in 1970 until a group of citizens formed Historic Denver, Inc and raised funds to restore it. Next up on the list is another presidential home: Montpelier. Read on to find out about it!
Montpelier is located in Orange County, Virginia, and was the fourth President of the United States, James Madison. The property spans 2650 acres and is now open to the public seven days a week. They declared it a National Historic Landmark. Also, they listed it on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. They used the property as a plantation. Archeological investigations in the 21st century revealed new information about how slaves lived there. Montpelier’s staff continues to research the enslaved community by studying historical documents, conducting excavations, and contacting descendants. Furthermore, by documenting the countless contributions and sacrifices the enslaved community made to the plantation.
This name may seem familiar. In 1901, members of the DuPont family acquired the home and built various buildings for equestrian use. One of their sons even converted their mansion in Delaware into Montpelier’s replica, and that home is now a state park! As the DuPont’s passed and their heirs took ownership of the home. However, they eventually transferred ownership of the house to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They have restored the home to the Madison era. A $25 million, five-year restoration project took place from 2003 – 2008 to return Montpelier to its original 1820 appearance. During the process, they used materials authentic to that timeframe, such as horsehair plaster. The last entry on the list is the spookiest, so stay tuned to find out about the Winchester Mystery Mansion!
Whether you like ghost stories or just crazy architecture, this mansion will tick all the boxes for you. The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA, is where Sarah Winchester resided after the passing of her husband, William Wirt Winchester. Yes — those Winchesters, the firearm family. The mansion is at 525 South Winchester Blvd. They designed it in a Queen Anne Style on the exterior, though its interior is entirely non-traditional. People claim they began round-the-clock construction in 1886 on what initially was an eight-room farmhouse and did not stop until Sarah’s passing in 1922.
By the end of her life, the mansion ended with 24,000 square feet, 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, 160 rooms, 52 skylights, 47 stairways and fireplaces, 17 chimneys, 13 bathrooms, six kitchens, and doors that led nowhere – all for the equivalent price tag of $71 million today! The claim for this is that the souls of everyone killed by a Winchester firearm haunted Sarah. They would not harm her as long as construction continued on her home. Over 12 million guests have visited Sarah’s house since it opened to the public in 1923, and none have been able to determine the real reason for Sarah’s ongoing construction. Will you?