Bowers Mansion is the embodiment of the American Dream for Comstock and mining families. It's a massive manor home surrounded by sprawling lawns, statue gardens, fountains, and set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada.
The beautiful and extravagant home was built in 1863 by Eilley Bowers (Oram) and her second husband Lemuel (Sandy) Bowers. The Bowers used their takings from a successful silver mine to climb the social ladder and sought a home as grand as their new fortune. J. Neeley Johnson, ex-governor of California designed the building to reflect the memories and heritage of Mrs. Bowers’ native Scotland. The elegant and impressive home cost $400,000 to build, an unfathomable amount for the time. It was furnished with finery from all over Europe and reflected the best of luxury for the period.
After Sandy’s death, Mrs. Bowers was unable to maintain the home despite her efforts to rent out rooms and space on the grounds. It fell into disrepair, even becoming a resort for a number of years. Later it was acquired by the Washoe County Parks Department. In 1976 it was added to the Nation Registry of Historic Places, solidifying its place in history.
About this Establishment
Under the care of the Parks Department, the home has been restored to its previous splendor and filled with period accurate furniture to go with any artifacts of the Bowers’ life that have come to light over the years.
Since 2009 the home has been closed due to earthquake, renovation, and budgetary restrictions, but the grounds are home to naturally heated pools (currently closed) and picnic areas for groups and individual use. As one of Nevada’s most well restored historic homes, it is a beautiful and fascinating look back in time to the State’s early days and is a popular field trip stop for local schools. If the supernatural piques your interest, you’ll want to keep your senses keen while exploring the grounds and family cemetery, located 200 yards behind the house. In past years rangers have hosted evening ghost tours of the home in the days leading up to Halloween for amateur paranormal investigators and specter aficionados.
Time Period Represented
Sunrise to Sundown
None for the park, pavilion rental varies
Spring, Summer and Fall
ADA Accessibility Notes
Pet Friendly Notes
On leash only, service animals allowed.