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    Winchester Mystery HouseWinchester Mystery House San Jose, California aerial view
    this unique mansion is a very famous building that had been under construction for 38 years and reported to be haunted, after being the residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun maker and mogul, William Wirt Winchester, and is now a tourist destination that brings visitors from around the world to visit and wander through this incredible house that was constructed from the ground up that continued day in and day out for 38 years, working twenty-four days the entire period. In September, 1922, after Sarah passed on, the estimated cost of the work was about $5.5 million that converts to $71 million today. The Queen Anne style Victorian mansion is famous for its size and complete lack of planning or master plans, since Sarah was haunted by the ghosts of all the folks that had been killed by the famous Winchester rifles her husband had manufactured, according to legend, and the only way to appease them would be to continue the construction of this more than unusual house. Sarah had been deeply saddened by the deaths of her daughter Annie in 1866 of marasmus and then later of her husband in 1881, she would seek comfort in the advice of psychics. The fabulous house was seven stories tall, until the earthquake of 1906 and now stands four stories tall, and made of mostly redwood framing, with a floating foundation that is believed to have kept the house from collapsing in the earthquake. In 1989, it would withstand the Loma Prieta earthquake and continue to bring visitors from near and far to see and wander around the 160 rooms, with 40 bedrooms and two ballrooms, with one finished and the other still in progress. It houses 47 fireplaces, 10,000 window panes, 17 chimneys, three elevators and two basements, all sitting on what had been a 162 acre lot, but now is just 4.5 acres. There are silver and gold chandeliers, hand inlaid parquet floors and trim, doors and stairways that go nowhere and a large array of paint colors and materials. Over 20,500 gallons of paint were used to cover the house.

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    Rosicrucian Egyptian MuseumRosicrucian Egyptian Museum San Jose, California
    this museum was founded by the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis and contains relics from ancient Egypt, and is still supported by the society, situated in Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, California and contains mystical symbolism relics with many coming from the East. Dr. Harvey Spencer Lewis would found the museum, and in 1921, he gave money to the archaeological excavations that were in process at Tel el Amarna that had been the capital city of pharaoh Akhenaten, who would eventually donate some relics to the museum in return. In 1928, Lewis gave a collection to the museum that was named "The Rosicrucian Egyptian Oriental Museum, and after his tour of Egypt in 1929, the museum would acquire quite a few relics and donations that caused it to grow to over 2000 exhibits. His son, Ralph Maxwell Lewis would add new structures to the museum grounds that opened in 1966 and the museum had already obtained many outstanding relics. It housed the biggest exhibition of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the western region of the United States, had its buildings set in an Egyptian revival park, would have the only structures in the world that were built using ancient Egyptian architectural styles and had a purposely constructed planetarium next to the museum that was the fifth in the nation and the first with a Star projector.

April 6, 2011