Historical home built by Lemuel "Sandy" Bowers and his wife, Eilley Orrum Bowers. It was one of the most expensive homes built in the state at the time, costing nearly $400,000 in 1863. The home is now the center of a larger park that boasts swimming pools, gardens, and grave sites.
Backstory and Context
L.S. Sandy Bowers and his pyschic wife, Eilley Orrum, earned a fortune in their gold mine near Gold Hill, Nevada. They were Nevada's first Comstock millionaires. With their wealth they built a mansion in 1864 then traveled the world to furnish it. The mansion was restored in 1967, approximately 103 years later and to this day is one of the most impressive restored homes in Nevada.
The Bowers drove all over the United States and traveled the world, outfitting their home with the best furnishings and decor. After Sandy's death in 1868, Eilley lost her home to foreclosure because of the bills and the economic downturn. The house was abandoned until it was was about by Henry Riter, who turned it into a resort, significantly changing the decor. Eventually that closed, and the building is currently owned and operated by the Washoe County Parks Department. From all over the state, families have donated period furniture housed in the mansion. The park blends the historical site with recreational facilities such as a spring-fed swimming pool, picnic areas, and a playground. Tours of the mansion are given in summer and autumn.