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  • The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
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See the Carson Mansion

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Commonly referred to as the most photographed Victorian home in the United States.

Built for William Carson (1825–1912), one of Northern California’s first major lumber barons, the intricately detailed mansion took more than 100 men over two years to construct.

After failing to make a fortune in the mid-19th century California Gold Rush, Carson took to the forests of Northern California himself, felling shiploads of Redwood lumber bound for San Francisco. After a decade of working in the woods—and mining, when the seasons allowed—Carson formed the Dolbeer and Carson Lumber Company with John Dolbeer, who later invented the steam donkey engine that revolutionized the industry. By the 1880s, Carson’s company was producing 15,000,000 board feet of lumber every year.

The Carson family sold the mansion in 1950 to the private Ingomar Club, which still uses the house and does not allow tours of the residence. If visitors were allowed inside the front doors, they would be treated to beautiful stained glass designs, plasterwork, and carved ornaments in various exotic woods.

Meticulously maintained, the property today is in virtually 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.