Every house has a signature piece. It could be as simple as a beautiful front door or an elaborate staircase or ornate dining room. However, here in Sarah Winchester’s home there are many signature pieces and one that guests to the Winchester Mystery House will never be able to see it in its original locale or intent.
Prior to the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, Sarah’s home stood an impressive seven stories over what was to become Silicon Valley. An imposing tower, just to the right of the front of the house, loomed high over Sarah’s property, much like the watchful eyes of its owner.
After the 1906 earthquake violently shook the mammoth and sprawling home, the tower partially collapsed with the remaining structure remaining unstable atop the house. Upon evaluation, it was determined the tower could not be saved and all traces of it were removed from the skyline of the mansion. It is assumed much of the structure’s wood and windows were reused elsewhere in the house, but some artifacts remained in storage, until now.
The tower might be gone but remnants remain 111 years after the mighty earthquake. You might recognize this top finial piece of the tower from the vintage photo above.
Never again used at the house, the wooden finial has remained in storage, largely still intact, for over a century. The very top finial of the tower is now available to see in the attic of Sarah’s home on the Explore More Tour for a limited time.