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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tour the Dunsmir Home in Oakland

The Dunsmir home in Oakland is a 37-room mansion is 16,224 square feet and features 10 fireplaces, a Tiffany-style dome, wood paneled public rooms and inlaid parquet floors.  The original owner, Alexander Dunsmuir, son of a wealthy coal magnate from British Columbia, had this home built.  Dunsmir spent nearly 20 years waiting to marry his sweetheart and then died on his honeymoon, long before the mansion was completed.  His new bride returned to live in the home, but soon died herself in 1901.

The home was later owned by I.W. Hellman who purchased the estate in 1906 as a summer home for his family. The estate contained a golf course, formal croquet court, tennis court, swimming pool with Mission-style bathhouse, glass conservatory with grotto, an elaborate aviary, formal garden maze, and Japanese garden. Deer, wild turkeys and water fowl are also known to live there.

Today the home has Docent lead tours of the estate grounds and the 37-room Dunsmuir Mansion on Wednesdays and the first Sunday of the month from April – September (except for July)  The home is also available for events, such as weddings, conferences, movie sets.

In December, there are many traditional holiday events and activities, featuring turn-of-the-century holiday decorations. One can stroll the lovely 50-acre estate or indulge in the Adult or Children’s Holiday Teas, ride the romantic horse-drawn carriage, and sip something warm while being entertained by holiday performers.  Sounds rather fun and romantic, doesn't it?