If I had to pick one home in Nebraska that I have always wanted to see, Joslyn Castle in Omaha would be at the top of list. Since I always love going to homes that have been decorated for Christmas, I knew that getting to see Joslyn Castle in December would be incredible. So, when the Joslyn Castle Trust graciously agreed to let us in to take a few photographs this week, I was definitely excited.
Wandering around the first floor with a camera resulted in many, many pictures – such an incredible place! My eyes were almost on beauty overload! So, this will be a longer post, but hopefully you will enjoy my view of Joslyn. My ultimate goal is to convince you to visit yourself. While it was fun being able to go from room to room, I think I would have enjoyed a tour even more. I always like knowing the story behind the place.
Do you feel the same way? You have 2 more Sunday opportunities to experience Joslyn Castle at its holiday finest. Tours are happening at 1,2 and 3 p.m. this Sunday the 15th and the 22nd. If you have an opportunity to go, I would highly recommend the experience! (Note: adults are $6 and Seniors/students are $3.) Now on to my pictures and a bit of the story …
As the wealthiest Nebraskans at the turn of the century, George and Sarah Joslyn wanted their home to reflect their means and station. So, they purchased over 5 acres on the outskirts of Omaha (now considered mid-town) and spent 11 months having their dream home constructed. This was an amazing feat due to the abundance of woodwork and the sheer size of the project. As spectacular as the home is today, I am certain that it would have been even more beautiful when the place was furnished.
The Grand Staircase hall.
The view from the 2nd floor stained glass windows and the view looking down from the 2nd floor staircase landing.
Which direction to choose? So many beautiful options!
The front morning room was used as Sarah Joslyn’s office. I know that I would be perfectly happy to sit in this room and work!
The other main front room is the library. Etched glass bookcases covered several of the walls. They now contain pictures and memorabilia from the house and family.
Pictures of George and Sarah Joslyn grace several of the walls.
The music room occupies the front side of the house to the west. Joslyn Castle does rent out parts of the first and second floor for many special occasions such as ceremonies and receptions. Including weddings. Almost as if this room was intended for this purpose …
(Note; We were so excited to have Grammi join us for the day. My mom is pictured above with the kids!)
This small balcony area is the same level as the first floor. There is a view of the conservatory – a miniature indoor greenhouse area resplendent with flowers and plants.
The conservatory is located on the back north part of the house. The etched glass garden door is original. A small path winds through the garden areas. This area can also be seen just off of the Great Staircase Hallway.
Due to the opulence, at first I thought this room was used for dining. I found out that it was actually their main living and entertaining area.
The dining area is adjacent to the living room. With the dark woodwork and ornate carvings, the room feels warm and cozy. I was told that some of the woodwork is incredibly rare and would be impossible to replace since some of these types of trees are actually extinct now or challenging to find.
The built-ins house family heirlooms and also display pictures of how the home used to look furnished.
The Joslyn Castle Trust takes care of operating and overseeing the maintenance of the home. Their ultimate goal is to restore the home to way it looked when it was first completed in 1903. This is an overwhelming and expensive undertaking. By purchasing one of the items on their “gift tree,” you can be a part of the process.
Each of the tags on this tree have gift suggestions of varying prices. These purchases will assist the Joslyn Castle Trust in preserving this mansion.
A side view of the castle and the carriage house. (I think I would be perfectly happy to call even that lovely smaller building home!) This building has now been converted into office. The former green house (not pictured) located in the back of the castle now houses the Joslyn Castle Trust.
We loved visiting the Joslyn Castle -a home for the holidays!