Tag Archives: Joslyn Castle

Revisiting Joslyn Castle near Siouxland, Omaha, NE

9 Oct

Visiting the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Sioux City, Iowa, a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Making a return trip to see a place in another season is always fun. Places look different at different times of the year especially without white stuff on the ground. The Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE is a good excuse to get outside of Siouxland and do a road trip south. The grounds were nice to visit and the interior of the historic home this time was not decorated for the Christmas season and exuded another look in a way.

A docent shows off original tile work of the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Sioux City, Iowa, a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903.Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Sioux City, Iowa, a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Timbers in the ceiling of the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020, Omaha, NE a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903.

The couple who built the home had material shipped in from around the world, the man having created a printing empire where he sold completed inserts into smaller surrounding communities’ newspapers with features and other world news not always available to small town papers. And in those days every small town had at least one newspaper, and larger communities sometimes had 2 or 3 newspapers, both morning and afternoon editions.

George and Sarah Joslyn rode their horses on their small estate, the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Omaha, NE and lived in a a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A photograph of the former glory of a dining room in the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020, Omaha, NE a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
The dining room in the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020, Omaha, NE a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Visiting the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020, Omaha, NE a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Care was taken in the details of the home with timber shipped in from a specific region of Russia, other material from Italy and also Scotland.

The home didn’t suffer from conveniences either as it had “running” water and even electricity along with gas lamps should there be a power outage.

Great care was given to the details in furnishing the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020, Omaha, NE a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Gas fixtures and electricity were both available to the original owners of the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Omaha, NE. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A sitting room in the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020, Omaha, NE a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903.

At this time the Joslyn’s lived on the western edge of Omaha beyond which was prairie, which has since long disappeared as the community grew to become the small/larger city it now is.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A detail of a wall mounted lamp at the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020, Omaha, NE a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion completed in 1903. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Light and Shadow in Siouxland, Joslyn Castle, Omaha, NE

15 Sep

Visiting the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always like revisiting places I have previously been to, in Siouxland and elsewhere. Different time of year gives a different look to the area or place itself, such as the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE. The grounds are very nice and the tour inside was again informative as a different docent volunteer led this tour. Because of the coronavirus fewer people gives those on the tour more of an opportunity to ask questions. And having visited previously ask questions with some knowledge about the history of the place.

Visiting the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visiting the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Having been here before I looked differently at the former residence of a prominent family and because the season was more summer than winter as last time the lighting inside was also different. Lights and shadows are always fascinating, at least to me. Enjoying the play of light inside a room. Of course one has to be content with how the sun is when on a tour. Planning for optimal light is never going to happen without unfettered access, and that is not going to happen either.

Visiting the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it’s always nice to spend a day out, hearing about an area and wondering how it looked in early pioneer days for those folk who lived there then. The castle at the time was on the western most edge of the community of Omaha with prairie beyond its borders, that is now occupied with homes, many homes. But as I listened I was looking, seeing those little things of interest to me, in my own reverie and speculating how many footsteps had passed these simple areas on how many years and if they appreciated where they were or were just busy with life around them to consider much else.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Visiting the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Thursday, September 3, 2020 , Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Grandeur on the Prairie near Siouxland, The Joslyn Castle, Omaha

29 Jan

George and Sarah Joslyn completed their home in 1903 and became known as the Joslyn Castle and at one time was at the edge of the town of Omaha, NE with only country surrounding it west, seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Traveling outside the “defined” boundary of Siouxland is always an exciting prospect in that opportunities for exploring new areas are endless. On a recent jaunt down to Omaha, NE I visited a former estate and at the time of its building it was definitely a grand undertaking as well as breathtaking for such an estate located in the prairie and at the time.

George and Sarah Joslyn built a 35 room Scottish Baroninal mansion on a hill at what at the time was the outskirts of Omaha. Information provided alludes to the fact that the estate is Scottish more because of the fact that the architect was Scottish himself and created a magnificent piece for a home that was built in a mere 11 months.

A photograph of George and Srash Joslyn seated on their horses in the early 1900’s on acreage that surrounded their home, the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

George and Sarah Joslyn completed their home in 1903 and became known as the Joslyn Castle and at one time was at the edge of the town of Omaha, NE with only country surrounding it west, seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A carriage sits near the former home of George and Sarah Joslyn who completed their home in 1903 and became known as the Joslyn Castle and at one time was at the edge of the town of Omaha, NE with only country surrounding it west, seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Servants quarters and a carriage house was also completed in a style replicating the main house. The original estate covered a number of acres most of which had been sold over time and now only the main house and carriage house and immediate grounds remain. The couple originated from Vermont and moved west after the completion of the transcontinental railroad. George Joslyn was involved in the printing business and settled in Omaha in 1880 to build more clientele for a printing firm located in Des Moines. Joslyn eventually bought the firm and created a business that supplied ready print newspapers to an estimated 70% of the population in the early 1900’s.

A grand staircase and a variety of wood is part of the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A group tours the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE led by guide Keith Hart, center, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The home contains a grand foyer, a music room, ballroom, library and a drawing room. Atone time the basement contained a bowling alley, a billiards room and a gymnasium. The couple also loved their horses and road them throughout the acreage that surrounded their estate.

A photograph showing what a sitting room looked like of the Joslyn Castle when the Joslyn’s resided there in the early 1900’s in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A photograph from the early 1900’s showing tornado damage to the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The house is full of architectural delights that include wrought iron, chiseled stone from Kansas, stained glass, ornately carved wood and mosaic tiles.

The Joslyn Castle was completed in 1903 as a residence for George and Sarah Joslyn who resided there until each’s death in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A view of a carriage house completed before the main home of George and Sarah Joslyn in 1903 and became known as the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The couple never had children of their own, but adopted a daughter from a local agency. Tour guides say the couple opened their home often to underprivileged children to come play and enjoy the grounds. After George died his wife Sarah continued to host community events and eventually willed that the estate should be used for community functions which it still does to this day, after a few detours of usage until present.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Joslyn Castle was built in 1903 by architect John McDonald and with Kansas silverdale limestone that was delivered by a special rail line to the site in Omaha, NE seen Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The dining area of the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The construction of the Joslyn Castle utilized very special wood and craftsmanship in the 11 months it was constructed in Omaha, NE Monday, seen Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A tour of a Christmas decorated Joslyn Castle in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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