Carolands Mansion

SEH
2005-03-14 11:05:17 CAROLANDS MANSIONIP: Logged
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Does anyone but me remember going up to the Carolands Mansion and having the Hillsborough police tell you that you couldn’t sit in front of the house??
That happened to me several times. I loved going up there and just letting my imagination go wild about how people lived during that time. One of my dreams was to get a chance to go in to the mansion. I realized that dream in 1991 when the Decorator Showhouse opened it to the public….WOW
bob lingaas

2005-03-14 16:10:57 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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The senior class of 1948, Burlingame High School

had our Senior Ball in the Carolands. Lucky us!!

We got to use the library and dining room plus the the main entry and and staircase. Dancing was in the library. This was a formal event Coupls got to have their picturies taken on the curved staircase in the library. I had mine taken with a girl named Jean.

Their Must be some 48 grads out their who can add to this??

P. S. Jean and I are having our 55 th. anniversary

this year. those were the days
SEH
2005-03-14 19:45:46 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Bob and Jean, Congratulations on your anniversary. It must have been fabulous to be in such a grand home!! What a great night to remember…I would love to hear more stories. Congratulations s
Sue Halldorson ’48
2005-03-19 21:21:12 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I have this invitation in my scrapbook—The Class of ’48 presents The Caroland’s Ball on Saturday, May 29, 1948. Dress: Formal; Orchestra: Walt Tallosen. Patrons were Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson I. Moseley, Mr and Mrs. William D. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Martin J. Healy, Mr. and Mrs. Harold E. Sanford, and Mr. and Mrs. Walter H. Radell. The price was $2.50 a couple. The Burlingame Advance on Tuesday, May 25, 1948 had the following:

“The Famed Caroland’s mansion will once again be ablaze with hundred of lights and burning tapers reminiscent of its glorious past when Burlingame High School senior students and their guests dance at the Caroland’s Ball Saturday night. Mr. and Mrs. T. I. Moseley have opened the historic old house for the affair. The marble stairway will once again echo to the rustle of taffeta gowns with hooped skirts to be worn by the girl graduates-to-be. The stately rooms with their beautifully frescoed ceilings and marble columns will be banked with formal trees of laurel and magnolia. Flowering trees will be placed at the foot of the stairway and also will be used throughout the room. The dining room decor will include masses of rhododendrons and azaleas. The walls of the library will be banked solidly with red and white roses which will serve as a background for the orchestra. More than 400 guests will be present for the ball. The new “old look” will be worn by the feminine contingent when crinoline and hooped skirts will be the official costume for the evening’s festivities.”
Fiona
2005-04-02 06:52:07 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Lucky you to have been able to visit Carolands. The Burlingame Historical Society helped with the research for a new documentary about the mansion and it is my dream to be able to see it in person!
I will keep you posted when I hear when the documentary will be shown on TV.
SEH
2005-04-02 12:58:06 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Thank you so much. I would love to tour the home again. I will look forward to a documentary on the mansion. She deserves it!!
Bob Lingaas 70′s
2005-04-22 16:19:04 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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SEH ; The police not wanting you sittng around the Carolands. Back in the late 70′s a security guard for the mansion gave 2 young ladies a tour of the house. it ended up with one being murded and one surviving. It was a horrible story.
mdp
2005-09-05 21:22:42 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Hi! Came across the Carolands mansion, while looking for venues for a future wedding reception site. Does the Carolands rent out for weddings?? If so, at what price?? Is there a website for the Carolands that shows more pictures and maybe information about renting?? Please let me know. thank you in advance
Michael
2005-09-06 09:21:27 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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The Carolands is a private residence “Thank God” they did not turn it into condos like one developer wanted to, as far as renting it for a reception I would guess that you would need a “IN”….I know the family who now owns it has said that they want to do fundraisers.
I have been in the house many a time, I still would most likeley be able to get around even with my eyes closed……My two favorite rooms in the house are the “Orient Lounge” and Miss Carolands dressing room. Two rooms that were not open to the public during the ShowHouse years ago, and most people do not know the rooms are even there.
mdp
2005-09-08 00:37:45 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Too bad…It is so beautiful!…Well does anyone know of any mansions in the burlingame/hillsborough locations, besides Ralston Hall and Kohl mansion, that rent out for weddings?? My fiance loves the whole mansion look but Ralston and Kohl mansion were way out of our price range..Any advice or help in finding a reasnably priced location would be helpful…..
Fiona
2005-09-08 20:39:40 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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The San Mateo County Historical Association has a special “History Makers 2005″ evening on Thursday, September 22 between 6:00 -9:30 pm where they will honor Mrs. Ann Johnson for saving and restoring The Carolands.
It will be held at Hotel Sofitel, 223 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City, This will be a benefit for the SMCHA and the individual tickets are $150 each and up. Tickets need to be ordered promptly at 299-0104.
They will show a small piece from the upcoming documentary about the house.
This might be the next best thing to visiting the house!
seh
2005-09-08 21:37:30 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Fiona: Thank you so much for keeping us up to date on the events that surround the beautiful house on the hill. I hope that we will be able to see the documentary or possibly order a copy of the program when it airs. Again thanks for the update
SUSAN
2005-09-22 22:31:17 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHEN THE DOCUMENTORY COMES OUT…..ALSO, DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN GET A COPY OF “THE IMPERVIOUS SURVIVOR” BY SKIP BOGART?

SUSAN
Cathy Baylock
2005-09-23 08:38:49 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I attended, along with 399 other people, a wonderful event to honor Mrs. Johnson for her work to restore the Carolands to its original (if not better than) grandeur. We saw a 20 minute clip from the documentary where Mrs. Johnson describes the previously forlorn mansion as being like a beautiful woman who had never worn a beautiful dress. She felt she needed to rehabilitate “her” to her proper station in life. What a marvelous journey. We look forward to the final product of the documentary process!
Jesse Zambrano
2005-09-23 09:00:00 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I used to go to the Chateau Caroland when the Countess was alive. Would you be so kind to email me with the date and times you documentary on Caroland will be aired? Respectfully,Jesse Zambrano.
Bob
2005-09-23 19:59:58 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Susan: Not sure about locating book, but another book written by Skip was for sale on e-bay recently. Anyone know anything about Skip?
Zach
2005-09-26 22:41:36 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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There are a few books on the Carolands Mansion in San Mateo County library Systems.
Some recent headline news: Charles Bartlett Johnson, and his wife Ann, owners of the Carolands, were recently placed at no. 59 in Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans, having a net worth of 3.7 billion! No wonder they dressed the chateau to the nines!
Carole
2005-10-22 16:06:52 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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In 1947 I visited the Carolands Mansion as a young girl of 9 yrs old. I was invited to lunch and to see the inside of the mansion by a girl of my age who lived in the mansion with her parents. It made an impression on me that I have not forgotten to this day. It was like all little girls fantasies of beautiful mansions and adventures therein. I have been trying to locate information on the house or pictures that might have been taken to validate my memories. It seemed to be the perfect house for the story of “The Secret Garden”. I remember standing up on the second floor or perhaps the third flood looking out on a hugh walled garden where all the trees and plants were dead. I can still see the grand staircase, the beautiful dressing room and it hugh three-way mirror, and the bathtub with a lion’s head where the water came out. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who could provide me with a lead to finding pictures, newspaper articles, books on this house. I am so happy to read that it has been restored. I would love to see it again to know that I did not dream this little gir’s adventure. Carole
Fiona
2005-10-22 19:28:46 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Dear Carole, The Burlingame Historical Society is lucky enough to have some wonderful information about the Carolands. We even helped with the upcoming documentary!
If you would like to come into the Archives, please call us at (650) 340-9970 and make an appointment. If that it is not convenient you could inform us more precisely what you would like to me to send you.
Susan
2005-10-25 09:25:37 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Carole; I appreciated your story on visiting the mansion, in 1947. I have a memory from 1986 or so. Moving from Alaska, working at a Title Company, I was doing some research in the area, when I saw a parcel on an old hanging map, that stuck out to be be irregular size for the surrounding lots…it was hand drawn in “Carolands Mansion”..I researched it further into the records and found some old building permits, and other documents. The records are public in the county courthouse in Redwood City, I could find out which family owned it in 1947, through those records. I could not resist taking a ride to that mansion, and I when I did and I came around the corner, It stood out like Mt. Mckinley(now Denali) huge. I then visited the showcase after and bought a book called “The Impervious Survivor” by Skip Bogart. It is out of print, and I think I leant it to someone and cannot find another copy. Let me know if you would like me to do some public record searches, or I could show you how. Susan
Carole
2005-10-26 23:15:09 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Susan, thank you for your reply and very helpful information on the Carolands Mansion. I would really appreciate knowing which family owned it in 1947. If you are able to find that out, through the public records, I would love to know their name because I cannot remember it. Also in 1947 there was nothing else around the mansion except woods and extensive grounds. Out in the front, there were two large ponds or lakes between the driveways. I am really anxious to see old pictures from that time and also how it looks now. I am hoping to visit sometime soon. When you mentioned the showcase and bought a book , was that at the mansion itself? Do you know are there homes built around the mansion now? I hope not. If there is, I would probably be shocked to see it now. Thanks so much for your info and help. Carole
Susan Sarles
2005-10-27 10:45:32 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Hi Carole; I got your email, and yes I can do some research….but it will not be right now. As I recall, Harriet Pullman bought the land when it was around 1,000 acres. It then after some time was subdivided into other smaller parcels, leaving The Carolands on about 5 acres. Yes, there are all kinds of houses around. The subdivisions are called Carolands no 1, 2, 3. If you want pictures of the current building, I think that the documentary should be released soon, otherwise, contacting the owner for an appt. to take pcitures of the inside and outside for Historical use of course, is a good possibility. Susan

ps. where are you located?
Carole
2005-10-27 15:21:38 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Susan, thanks for the input. I live in Reno Area of Nevada. Don’t worry about the research now, only when you possibly have time. I also find it takes me quite awhile to get any research done. I am hesitant now to see the current state of this historical place. I would like to see the documentary when it is available. Again I really appreciate your help. Carole
SEH
2005-10-28 08:46:02 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Carole, I lived in Burlingame during my childhood and have always thought of the Carolands as one of the most favorite of places. Even thought there are homes surrounding the mansion, it is still easy to look at the home and invision a time past. Whenever I return to Burlingame, the one thing I do is visit Carolands. It is still worth the drive up the hill. I too would like to see the Documentary when it comes out. I am wondering if it will be available for sale because I do not live in the area to see it. I am so happy to see that there are so many others that love Carolands like I do ….
Fiona
2005-11-14 07:13:48 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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The Burlingame Historical Society has emailed the production company and asked for an update on their movie – “Three Women and a Chateau”. The last news was that they were working on the music but we will get back to you as soon as we have a date when it will be shown.
Fiona
2005-11-14 17:49:13 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I have heard back from the movie company as follows:
Our composer is working on the score now and we will be finishing up the project in early March. Public screenings will probably begin next summer.
The Burlingame Historical Society will update you when we have given the confirmed dates.
C Greenfield
2005-11-28 10:11:29 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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CAROLE: I beleive that the girl who had you over to view the mansion was my mother whose maiden name was Thompson. I would be happy to get you back in touch with her. Please have the Historical Society contact me with your information and I will be happy to pass it along to my mother. Best of luck! – C. Greenfield
Skip
2005-12-26 15:33:54 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I used to drive to the mansion over the years from the 1960′s until a few years ago. I have moved away from the Bay Area for a few years and have forgotten the directions to the mansion. Could anyone give me directions to the mansion going west on Ralston from El Camino in Burlingame? Thanks
Fiona
2006-01-16 11:05:44 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Thjis is a message from the movie production’s website:
At last, after over 2 years of production,

Three Women and a Chateau

will have its world premier at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Feb 9 and Feb 12, 2006.

Come watch with us the story of:

the Heiress, the Countess, the Doctor, and a 100 year love affair with a 100 room mansion.
The Burlingame Historical Society will keep you posted … !
seh
2006-01-20 09:10:58 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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http://www.lunaproductions.com/pages/1/index.htm

I just found this website…It is from the production company for the film 3 Women and a Chateau. Thought you might like to take a peek. I for one can not wait for this film to come out.
Just copy the link to your browser
teresa
2006-01-25 13:43:19 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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SKIP: the address to the mansion is

565 Remillard Dr., …just mapquest it!
Carole: your best bet right now to see how the mansion looks is to google it.
just put in the address and then the “Local” tab.

finally, the satellite tab and zoom in and around!
Susan
2006-01-28 19:31:11 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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http://www.lunaproductions.com/pages/1/page1.html

SOME INFO ON MOVIE DOCUMENTARY IN SANTA BARBARA
Jay Peterson
2006-02-05 00:06:41 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I remember the mansion back in high school when in 1984 two girls were raped and one was killed. We used to drive by there at night and the security lights would come on, freaking us out! A very sad time really for what happened there. God bless that girl.
Michael
2006-02-24 20:43:53 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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hello all
see the wikipedia article on the Carolands:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolands
if you have any comments or corrections, please email me, since i am one of the contributing editors, i can easily add or modify. (i know we need some better photos!)
best regards

michael
Fiona
2006-03-05 10:25:56 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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The Burlingame Historical Society received the following email:
Please visit the new Carolands site: Carolands.org” target=”_blank”>www.Carolands.org. Acanthus Press is publishing a beautiful pictorial book on the Carolands in Fall, 2006. Please check in regularly for updates about screenings and release dates for the book.
Jay Peterson
2006-03-05 14:59:40 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I just saw the link to the documentary of the mansion. One piece of information in wrong. It said “the near death of a girl.” In fact one girl did die and I knew her. Another attempt by the rich in Hillsborugh to cover that up.
michael
2006-03-06 13:03:14 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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see an expanded article on the chateau at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolands
Lilli
2006-03-25 18:31:52 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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In the 50s, during the Cold War, when people were overreacting & doing crazy things like building bomb shelters, the Hillsborough schools instituted “disaster drills” in case of atomic fallout. As a fourth-grader at West Hillsborough School, I joined my classmates in a yearly trek to “The Mansion” (as we always, always referred to the Carolands chateau!) Since my parents had considerately not instilled in me any fear-of-the-world-falling-apart, I considered the drill to be nothing but exciting fun! Though the extent of our foray into the mansion was only the basement, I still remember the excitement I felt as we hiked up Ralston Avenue and The Mansion loomed like an image from my beloved Nancy Drew books!
I still get a thrill when I drive by the chateau. I’m just so glad that it’s not been decimated or exploited. Thank God for small favors!
Lilli
2006-03-26 12:15:11 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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In the 50s, during the Cold War, when people were overreacting & doing crazy things like building bomb shelters, the Hillsborough schools responded to the paranoia by instituting “disaster drills” in case of atomic fallout. That’s how, as a fourth-grader at West Hillsborough School, I joined my classmates in a yearly trek to “The Mansion” (as we always, always referred to the Carolands chateau!) Since my parents had considerately not instilled in me any fear-of-the-world-falling-apart, I considered the drill to be nothing but exciting fun! Though the extent of our foray into the mansion was only the basement, I still remember the excitement I felt as we hiked up Ralston Avenue and The Mansion loomed like an image from my beloved Nancy Drew books!
I still get a deliciously eerie thrill when I drive by the chateau. I’m just so glad that it’s not been decimated or exploited. Thank God for small favors — and for those people who are generous enough to help preserve historical landmarks!
chris
2006-03-27 11:46:47 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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i am looking for more info on the mansion and the 2 girls because my sister and brother took me there when I was 12. As it worked out we took the last tour a week before the same security guard took the two girls. He took us to the dressing room, showed us all over the place. The best thing I remember was the secret passage way and the big safe. I live in canada know so pictures and news would be great.
Sandy
2006-05-24 16:11:18 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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In regards to the death at Carolands — See the most recent article at the following link:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/15/BAGPBI9FL31.DTL
Sandy
2006-05-24 16:17:36 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Recent information on the “event” involving the Carolands can be found here:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/15/BAGPBI9FL31.DTL
And FYI — the girls were not murdered in the house. They were injured there, transported via car to Santa Clara County, and dumped in a ravine where one was able to crawl to safety. They were not “technically” murdered in Carolands.
Fiona
2006-05-26 04:14:25 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I was lucky enough to see a screening at Carolands of the new movie about the Chateau. The movie is wonderful and very informative about the house and the three ladies involved. I was also glad to solve the mystery of whether her name “Harriett” is spelt with two tees or one. Her wedding invite spells it with two tees! There will also be a new book on Carolands, publication date not yet confirmed. Here is Christine’s article dated May 26, 2006 in the San Mateo Times :
Chateau revived after much tragedy – Historic house tells story of 100 years of well-to-do in America
HILLSBOROUGH — Magnificent and supreme, the Carolands Chateau sits atop a hill that once could be seen from all of Hillsborough. Its creator had a purpose. She wanted to be the object of admiration and envy among the town and country’s elite. She wanted it to rival Hearst Castle. Most importantly, she wanted the Crocker family to be jealous. And she did it. But while she envisioned years of lavish parties and praise, she over-reached. Her name was Harriet Pullman Carolan, and the Carolands Chateau is her legacy. For almost 100 years, the 100-room, 65,000-square-foot Chateau has evolved. It epitomizes a generation of excess, but as it has stood empty much of its existence, been tainted with failed marriages, lost fortunes, a raunchy sex film, and a brutal assault on two local teenage girls that made Hillsborough residents cry out for the demolition of what was considered a ghost of a mansion. But that was then. Now, it is as resplendent as in its heyday, and immortalized in a new documentary.
“Three Women and a Chateau.” is produced by Berkeley-based Luna Productions. Historians, architects, and Hillsborough residents chronicled the three women who made the chateau what it is today. “It’s not just about a house,” said Gary Weimberg, the director and co-owner of Luna Productions. “It’s a window into the life of the well-to-do in America for the last 100 years. For many, many years, the house was like an enchanted mirror encouraging grandiosity in the people who fell in love with it. And for many of those people, those grand dreams ruined their lives.”
Harriet Pullman Carolan – She was born in 1869, the year the transcontinental railroad was completed. Her father, George Pullman, was a 19th Century American industrialist who became the wealthiest man in Chicago after he created the Pullman Palace railway car. Growing up in luxury, Harriet Pullman expected perfection and beauty, and her tastes revolved around the French, according to historians. In 1892, she married Francis “Frank” Carolan and they moved to San Francisco, a city established with money — the Peninsula was considered the province of the wealthy. With $35,000 given as a gift from her father, they moved to Burlingame’s Crossways, a 30-room mansion. In 1897, her father died, and she became one of the richest women in the United States. On April 18, 1906, the elites’ bubble burst when the earthquake hit. With it, Burlingame’s population jumped 500 percent. It moved the rich into the hills, creating Hillsborough, which excluded “undesirable people” with a town charter that forbade businesses, including gas stations; churches, because they could not control who attended them; and sidewalks. Its police officers were to be elegant and at least 6 feet tall and handsome. Hillsborough was a municipality of millionaires.
At 43, Harriet Carolan decided to build Carolands Chateau on a 550-acre property once owned by George Howard. It was on a hill that overlooked the Uplands. Carolan hired 77-year-old Parisian architect Ernest Sanson. Willis Polk, the on-site architect, helped translate Sanson’s french instructions. Excavation of the chateau began on June 1, 1914, but construction slowed during World War I because of shortages of materials and water, and competition for labor. Soon, the project went over budget, and construction ran behind schedule. Historians said Harriet Carolan wanted the home complete for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a world’s fair held in 1915 in San Francisco. She missed the deadline. Before she and Frank Carolan separated in 1917, they had held only one party in the chateau: their 25th wedding anniversary, with a formal dinner for 16 people and a lavish reception for hundreds that same night. In 1923, Frank died, and two years later, Harriet remarried while living in New York.
The house stood empty for 29 years. In 1946, she sold the property. In 1950, with much of the surrounding property sold off, the Chateau faced a wrecking ball.
Lillian Remillard Dandini – Countess Dandini saved the Chateau. The “Brick Heiress” lived in the home for 23 years. At 52, she married Count Alessandro Dandini, 20 years her junior, making him co-owner of Remillard Brick Co. According to Dandini, he embezzled $50,000 from the company and spent 18 months in federal prison for not paying income tax. He filed for divorce, moved to Nevada and remarried. In the 23 years she lived in the chateau, the countess entertained and opened her home for fund-raisers. At the end of her life, however, she had no money or staff to keep the home up. She died at age 93 in 1973. Dandini willed the estate to the town of Hillsborough, to be used as a library and arts resource center. But because of the town charter that only allowed for single-family homes, the town council wanted to demolish it. It gradually fell again into disrepair. Seediness crept in when a movie company gained access to make the 1984 adult film, “All American Girls.” It’s set as a home in England, with women sharing raunchy sex tales. In 1985, the community was outraged when 16-year-old Jeanine Grinsell of San Mateo and 17-year-old Lauri McKenna of Burlingame were sexually assaulted and beaten by David Allen Raley, a 23-year-old security guard at the empty chateau. On Feb. 2, 1985, Raley, of San Jose, took the teens on a tour of the chateau and attacked them. He stored them in the trunk of his car and drove them to South San Jose. They were later dumped in a remote area. Grinsell managed to get help and was treated at Santa Teresa Community Hospital, but McKenna died, according to newspaper clippings.
More bad luck fell on the chateau on Oct. 17, 1989 with the Loma Prieta earthquake. It left 6-to-8-inch cracks throughout the home.
Ann Johnson – In 1991, the Women’s Auxiliary of the Coyote Point Museum held a Decorator’s Showhouse event to raise funds for the museum. Some 68,000 people paid $20 a ticket to go inside the chateau. One of them was Ann Johnson. Married to Charles Johnson, an entreprenur in the financial market, she said she fell in love with the chateau’s library. The mother of seven children, who also went back to school to become a doctor and a psychiatrist, did not want to see the chateau destroyed. In 1998, the Johnsons bought the chateau for $6 million. Johnson likened the chateau to a “beautiful lady who’s never had a decent dress to wear.” So, restorations began to transform the place that had been devoid of life for so long. The roof alone took a little more than a year and $3 million to fix. Eventually, she would like to see the chateau turned into a museum, after officials revise the town’s code and zoning to allow it. “I’m not leaving until it is in a definite safe situation,” Johnson said.
“Three Women and a Chateau” will soon be available for purchase at the San Mateo County Historical Association, 777 Hamilton St., Redwood City. For more information, call (650) 299-0104
Sandy
2006-05-26 06:04:51 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Fiona — Thanks for the additional write-up on the mansion and the documentary. I’ve loved this home for years and am extremely glad to see Ann Johnson deliver on the promise to make her beautiful again.
Robert
2006-06-03 12:52:50 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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In the early 1980s, coming home from San Francisco around 2:00 AM with some friends we decide to drive past the Carolands Mansion. We came upon a group of kids standing in front of the house. They told us that the security guard would let them in the house at night for money. When the security guard came out to the front gate we paid him $20.00 to let us walk around the house. This home is so enormous we walked around the house for almost four hours. At the time the house was completely empty and very messy. There was only a few lights on here and there, but the light from the moon was able to light the house enough that we were able to get around and see everything very well. There was an of vandalism, and it had looked like looters had removed some of light fixtures and fireplace hearths. At one point we were at the very top of the house were the atrium skylite/stainglass get its lighting for evening use. There was abalone shells with light bulbs in from of them to help emulate the atrium in the evening. It was quite the home tours that I will always have in my mind.
Jay Pistiolas
2006-06-03 14:01:13 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I too remember walking around the grounds in 1984. The security guy just let us walk around outside and took us inside for free providing he gave him a joint! That was fair. My friends and I had a great time walking around the place. It was also a sad time when those two girls got raped. Yes one girl died and she died right there on the grounds of the mansion. Really sad and unfortunately that memory will always be the strongest one for me.
Tom Covey
2006-06-03 14:06:03 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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In regards to information about those two girls who were raped at the masion, yes there were two girls who were raped on the site. One girl got away – the other girl was actually killed right there inside the masion. How do I know this? I knew one of the investiagting officers who found the body inside the house and the killing was done there. There were some attempts made to cover this part of the story up.
Michael
2006-06-04 01:33:58 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Full court documents regarding the incident.
People v. Raley (1992) 2 C4th 870
http://online.ceb.com/calcases/C4/2C4t870.htm
WARNING… This is not censored at all and is a bit hard to read, but it is the truth with no “rumors”.
Sandy
2006-06-05 08:19:47 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Michael — thank you for the link. This clearly states that BOTH girls were ALIVE when placed in the car…
This house was not to blame. It was the security guard who holds blame — Mr. Raley — and I use the term Mister very loosely…
James Heagy
2006-06-18 09:12:56 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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When my Burlingame cousins showed me the chateau (about 1970) I loved it and wanted to see the inside. It turned out that my mother had a friend who knew Countess Dandini and she wrote us a letter of introduction. The Countess invited us to come up at the next charity event to see the place. She was a delightful lady and told us the mansion was made with bricks from her company; also that for each event there they had to burn a barrel of oil to heat the place. The only help she had there was her Belgian chauffeur. We stayed after the event to help him clean up so he gave us a tour. I remember going from the room where the food was, through a corner of the room which was actually a door and into a small kitchen/pantry. We used the sterling silver sink to clean up. There was a closet sized safe in the pantry for silverware. The big kitchen was in the basement; a dumbwaiter was used to bring food up. I am very happy that the Chateau was saved by the countess and now by the Johnsons. It is indeed a national treasure. I expect the mud swallows had to be evicted for the restoration but the first thing we noticed when we went to the chateau was a huge “racket” from all the birds in thousands of mud nests around the top of the building.
Randeleigh
2006-08-27 15:39:19 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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This morning I was having a conversation with my 14 year old daughter, reminiscing about

having visiting this amazing place. The result of that conversation prompted me to do a little

Internet work on what had become of the lovely Chateau. That search led me to this site. After

reading the articles written on the history of the Chateau, I was surprised at the few photos

available on it, particularly the interiors.
There still seems to be interest in the history and future, of which I am very pleased. Having

spent a weekend in the Chateau, sleeping in a bed of horse hair in the Countess’ bedroom and

experiencing a little of what it might have been like living there, I am now contemplating posting

the photos I took while there. While they were taken with a simple camera, they may be some of

the only pictures in existence prior to the deterioration of the many beautiful rooms. So how did

I end up at the Chateau?
Well, in 1976 my father was invited to live in the Chateau as a guest of Mrs. Franks. Traveling

extensively she had requested he take up residence to “keep an eye” on the place. He had started

a new elevator service company in Burlingame and had made several service calls to her home to

“free her” from the elevator that had a habit of breaking down. After several “rescues” she

invited him to dine with herself and her two adult children. After a long and enjoyable meal with

conversation she learned that he was waiting for the school year to end to move my family north

from the LA area. She suggested to him to move into the Chateau as her guest so as to

discourage vandals that seemed to trouble the caretaker. It was mutually beneficial arrangement

for both so he became a long term guest. I cannot recall how long he lived there but it was

somewhere between six months and a year. He eventfully moved back to the Los Angeles area

since he had been offered a position in the LA area that he couldn’t turn down.
In the meantime, when I learned of his interesting residence, I decided to make the trip north to

see what it was all about. I spent the weekend with him in this most spectacular residence

recalling vividly it’s grandeur and beauty; the home, a work of art by artisans extinct along with

the skills need to replicate their work.
He gave me a tour of the home which lasted over three hours at a brisk pace. There are no words

to express the impact this home had on me. I took many, many photos which I am now

motivated to restore and perhaps post for others to see, since there are virtually no pictures online

to speak of of the interior.
I was impressed with how a place so large could feel so personal. The first floor was primarily

kitchens, accessed by an inconspicuous door under the staircase. A women’s large powder room

was in the left front corner and the men’s smoking room in the right front corner. The staircase

was breathtaking, complete with a beautiful skylight four stories directly above.
The second floor consisted of the “formal rooms” where the entertainment took place. The

library was a two story room with french windows as high. A lovely carved spiral staircase

wound it’s way up to the second level which boasted of thousands of volumes of books behind

glass and wire cases; a balcony placed around the circumference of the room. On the first level,

a huge fireplace with several comfortable sitting areas, desks and a grand piano. All in all, it was

quite welcoming.
Also on this level was a formal dining room that had curved corners, two being “hidden” doors

that took one into the warming kitchen. The walls in this room were made of a wood I cannot

recall, but what was unique about the wood was the exquisite detail done to it; every grain of

wood was meticulously painted colors of green, blue, yellow and read, accentuating the grains of

the wood. At one end of the room was a beautiful marble buffet and another similar buffet at the

opposite end. The table must have seated 50 with a chandelier rivaling those I saw in Versailles.
Entering the hidden doorways to the warming kitchen one was given the sense of a Dutch

kitchen; stark white walls, with blue patterned tiles, two levels with dishes and cabinets on both

levels; a large marble and wood island, sinks and warming ovens as well as small lifts used to

bring the food up from the kitchens below.
Other rooms of note where a Chinese room, very small, perhaps 10 x 12 with a beautifully carved

cabinet of Chinese design with various oriental memorabilia in the cabinet and a stunning sitting

chair carved in the shape of a dragon. There was the square and round white rooms; adjoining

through mirrored french doors which, when closed made it difficult to identify which door to exit

from. Another was all in pink silk with silk screen paintings above the fireplaces. Probably the

most simple of all rooms, but the largest, was the ballroom; designed to be functional but not

competitive with the gowns of the women guests. There was an entry from outside so the

coaches could pull up and deliver their passengers to the door. At one end was a stage for

musicians, with large chandeliers hanging from above. Probably on of my favorite rooms was

the Solarium, three sides all glass with white iron and glass furniture. It was very bright and

cheery.
The third floor was where the residents and guests stayed. This floor was only accessible by

either the elevator, a small spiral staircase in one corner of the building (with a skylight directly

overhead) or private staircases hidden throughout the walls of the manse. In all four corners of

the home were suites, the Count had one (my father’s room), Countess in another (mine),

adjoined by walking through several sitting rooms, and the two opposite corners where the

current owner and her children resided. Each room had it’s own private bath and dressing area,

complete with hidden staircases that lead to the servant’s quarters on the fourth floor. Between

the Count and Countess’ rooms was a small staircase leading down to the “mezzanine” area

where the closets where. There was an entire room devoted just to shoes. This room could be

seen from outside, as it had small oval shaped windows.
A private dining room/family room was between the corners, where the family and guest would

relax. Since all the kitchens were on the first floor, one of the previous owners had converted a

large pantry into a serviceable kitchen. I will guess that it was about 30 x 12. With windows that

reach 20′ high, it’s hard to have perspective when it comes to the size, add thirty years to the

equation and it’s tough to be precise. In the kitchen was the usual, as well as a little breakfast

table looking out over the side yard.
I recall sitting at the table have breakfast one morning when a few teenagers wandered over to the

window and called out. My father greeted them and was asked if Mrs. Franks was about. She

was not. They proceeded to ask him if she might consider letting the Hillsborough High School

hold their senior prom there. He explained she was a very private person but would pass on the

request. During my stay there were probably about three or four other times when the doorbell

rang and other requests for tours or favors were asked. It made me realize what a very special

place this was that I had been privileged to stay in.
The fourth floor is primarily servants quarters, rank being evident by the various sizes and

amenities visible in the different rooms (bathrooms, kitchens, etc.). There was a recreation room,

complete with a billiard table and a “drawing room” with all the original blue prints of the

chateau. Upon examining them, we could see what the original estate looked like, where the

stables, tennis courts, etc. were located and what the immediate grounds once looked like before

it was reclaimed by nature. Now the reflecting pools are filled with wild ivy and weeds replace

grass. One does not need to imagine hard to see what it must have been like in it’s hay day.
Now I see pictures of the chateau, how much more it has fallen into decay and it saddens me.

What a marvelously beautiful home and to see it come to this state is tragic. I am pleased to see

the Burlingame Historical Society has taken interest in this residence and is taking steps to

protect and preserve it.
Knowing the high cost to restore the residence, may be an undertaking that is too great in times

like this. I will mention that while my father was a guest, Mrs. Franks had been approached by

an architectural society about restoring the home, room by room by various designers, free, in

exchange for opening the home for several weeks of viewing. She, regrettably, turned them

down as she valued her privacy and couldn’t bring herself to having strangers in her home.

Perhaps this is the time to consider such an offer. If enough people send requests in to these

large architectural societies, they made decide to give it another go.
I wish I had pictures ready to post now but will have to do a bit of restoration before that can be

done as a time has done it’s work in fading the colors once so vibrant. If there is interest, I will

make another post when and where they can be found.
I hope some of my recollections have helped others imagine what a special place the Chateau de

Carolands truly is.
Patrick O’Flaherty
2006-09-29 22:52:06 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Carole, Could the little girl that had you over be a Mosley? A friend on mine’s (TD O’Connell -37-of Hills) Mother grew up in the Carolands. Can’t remember her name or the years she spent there… But her name was Mosley (now O’Connell) and the time period sounds right.
Patrick O’Flaherty
Whitney
2007-03-17 15:35:53 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I too visited the mansion many times in the 70′s. My grandparents lived nearby and my cousins and I would always sneak around the grounds and imagine and fantasize about who had lived there, whether is was haunted or not, etc. I too was invited in the home by a security guard one time. My friend and I jumped at the chance to see the interior. A few weeks/months later we heard the news about two girls that were abducted by a security guard. It was not the same man that we met but it had an impact on me for sure and I realized how very lucky I was, and how naive and stupid I had been.

Aside from that one, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the posts and shared memories online here today. I think I’m due to drive by one day soon, it’s been years.
Best wishes to all,

Whitney Nelson, Oakland
Doug
2007-03-18 20:02:36 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Good memory,Whitney.Just curious if you are related at all to Dick Nelson from my days at BIS from 1959-1961?

Like yourself,I live in Oakland aka Tha Town.Not exactly Burlingame,thats for sure!
Fiona@crescentcreati
2007-03-21 10:09:56 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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The book “Carolands” is now on sale (including Books Inc. Burlingame). It is a beautiful book by the SMCHA and the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America. It has magnificent photographs and includes my favorite photo of Harriett sitting on the terrace!
You really get a great insight into this beautiful mansion.
Paul Zimmon
2007-07-21 18:24:10 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I live at 410 Pullman Road when I was young. That was about 67 to 1970. Though I never have been inside I do remember going on the grounds and looking in the windows. The Countes was still living there then. I met the Countes in front of the Burlingame Post Office in 1968. She was sitting in the back of a Rolls Royce and I commented to her what a nice car she had. She was very nice to me and told me she had owned the RR Limosine for many years. She had a reputation for being a kind and generous lady and I can confirm that. I am so happy to see that the Estate has been restored. It is truly a masterpiece of art.
Grey Whipple
2007-07-29 21:16:49 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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In the period 1965 – 1975 there was a musical group called the Peninsula Choraliers, directed by Waldemar Jacobsen. My wife participated for a few years and during that time one of their annual concerts was held at the Carolands mansion. It was like stepping into a historical time warp, a place of incredible beauty.
chris williams
2008-04-06 13:39:15 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I was fortunate to have been able to frequent the Carolands Mansion for several years starting in 1993.I’d met a couple through my girlfriend who were hired to secure the mansion through there security company and they lived in the palace for about 5 years.They occupied the 2nd floor and had a couple of sons. As you could imagine it was more of a chore just keeping track of them in this 96 room mansion than securing it!

Growing up my father used to drive us up to this mansion and we would just sit there and stare at this massive structure! I never would have imagined that I would have ever got past the gates let alone be able to live there for ten days with my gilfriend and my daughter who was only 6 months old.I was givin the opportunity when the caretaker went to run the baja on his motorcycle and he asked me if I would stay there and keep an eye on the place.As you could imagine I went straight home and packed my suitcase! Probably one of the most memorable 10 day’s in my life!I remember we had various weather conditions that week which brought heavy rains,tuly fog,and a thunder n lightning storm.Talk about spooky!The Mansion always seemed to be settleing because in the evening you would hear strange noises through out the place. My most memorable moment was when I went and picked up my father and told him I wanted to go show him something.I drove him up to the Carolands and pulled right up to the front door.He said son your gonna get in trouble for being up here and I replied don’t worry I just bought the place.He wasn’t sure what to believe as I walked him in through the front door and onto the elevator.My Dad has since passed,but the picture I have of him holding my daughter, sitting on the couch upstairs and being able to bring him into this Historical site will forever be in my heart!
JVA
2008-04-06 14:20:28 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Was this place also known as “The Crocker Mansion”?
Lilli
2008-04-06 18:35:28 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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No, the Crocker Mansion was located off Skyline Boulevard, and is now Nueva School. The Carolands mansion is about a mile southwest of the Crocker mansion.
Sandy
2008-04-09 07:40:02 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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The Crocker Mansion is now the Hillsborough Country Club. Harriett Pullman Carolands bought the property she ultimately built Carolands on to essentially “look down her nose” on what at that time was considered “old” Hillsborough money and society.
This place is magnificent. Again, thank you Ann johnson!!!
BTW, this article is great! http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/07/11/HOG0OQPTLR1.DTL&type=printable
Fiona
2008-04-09 11:48:57 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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C. Templeton Crocker’s mansion “Uplands” designed by architect Willis Polk became Crystal Springs Uplands School (wonderful photos on page 102 of Svanevik/Burgett’s book “No Sidewalks Here”).
William Willard Crocker’s home “Sky Farm” designed by architect Arthur Brown Jr. became Nueva Day School in 1971. (see photos on page 106 in “Sidewalks”)
Bob
2008-04-26 21:03:04 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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How many feet long is the Carolands Masion
George Guiver
2008-04-27 20:01:14 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I wanted to find out what happened to the convicted murderer David Allen Ralley after reading some of the proceedings. He is apparently on Death Row in San Quentin. Here’s a letter he wrote on a website asking for Pen Pals:
DAVID ALLEN RALEY Hello ! I hope that this letter will find you doing real good, and also in real good health and spirits too. As for me, I am doing the best I can under the circumstances, being on Death Row…In hopes that you might be able to help me, and I truly ! hope so too…What I would like to be able to do…is to get some pen pals. The reason my attorney told me about you all, is cause I have been having thoughts in dropping my appeals. Cause of the same routine every day, the loneliness is getting to me etc. and sure you can understand that. And my attorney figured getting some pen pals would help. With the loneliness, and and help me hang on longer, and not drop my appeals. So again anything, and any help you all can give me, will be very appreciated. Take care, and God bless and watch over you all always…Smile! Again, take care, and hope to hear from you all real soon too. Sincerely,
David Allen Raley

D-86900 NS-10-SS

San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin, California

94974 US
Michael B
2008-05-03 04:10:26 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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YUCK….That makes me almost sick. That man is right where he should be, sitting all alone in a cell to think about what he did… Sorry buddy if the loneliness is getting to you, you should have thought about that years ago, do you think the loneliness of never getting to see thier daughter again is ever going to change……No and niether shoud your fate! Really give up the appeals, you know you did it we know you did it! Now deal with it!
Sandy
2008-05-03 10:12:12 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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This article link (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-2186851.html) from December 2006 indicates “Mr. Security Guard” was denied his appeal. He is now down to just a slim hope of being awarded clemency from our Govenor.
And this one speaks to the surviving victim — who happens to be distantly related to me through marriage:
http://www.theburlingamedailynews.com/article/2007-10-2-10-02-Carolands-web-jpg
Sandy
2008-05-03 10:21:42 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Here is another article profiling Laurie based on the years post her ordeal with Raley.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20061001/ai_n16760844
How anyone could even consider clemency as an option would be deluding themselves.
Sandy
2008-05-03 10:28:36 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Finally — one last article to review about Laurie. Then back to how wonderful and tremendous Carolands is — and not the cause of what happened to her and Jeanine Grinsell back in 1985.
http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2006/102006/10082006/226937?rss=local
John
2008-05-03 13:58:00 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I think the masion should be torn down as a result of the two rapes and death there but it’s a rich people’s world isn’t it?
John
2008-05-03 13:58:10 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I think the masion should be torn down as a result of the two rapes and death there but it’s a rich people’s world isn’t it?
Lilli
2008-05-03 14:27:23 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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How would tearing down the mansion address the pain of the victims and their families?
SEH
2008-05-03 14:43:02 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Gee, I don’t think the Carolands Mansion had anything to do with the evil that took place there!! Also, Thank Goodness for Ms Johnson for caring enough about that beautiful home to bring it back to it’s grand state!!! This is a home that only the wealthy would be able to restore and I for one and many others on this site are very glad that Ms Johnson decided to take this project on!!!
Sandy
2008-05-03 15:47:38 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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The Carolands Mansion is not to blame. As the articles I posted this morning attest to, litigation was brought against the security company that hired Raley. That litigation was won by Laurie. At no time was the house held at fault.
Today, Carolands stands as a tribute to survival. Not only the house’s survival, but the will that lives in Laurie. Tearing it down would serve no purpose.
CAL
2008-05-03 17:47:28 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I am sorry for “Johns” input, I guess one bad egg deserves another.
Kristin
2008-06-22 02:32:18 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Can anyone help with a question- My husbands father lived in the Carolands Mansion and I wanted to purchase a painting of the Carolands for them as a gift. Does anyone know where I can purchase a painting of it or a nice print or even a photograph? It is such a beautiful place, I am sure some artist has painted it.
Robert Duncan
2009-12-29 14:21:43 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I am trying to obtain a DVD about Carolands. Please let me know where or how I might obtain a copy. I have e-mailed and phoned to Luna Productions with no success.
Thank you.
Joanne
2009-12-29 19:44:09 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Books, Inc. on the Avenue used to have the DVD on The Carolands (it is called Three Woman and a Chateau). The Burlingame Public Library also has several copies.
I hope you find a copy. You will enjoy it — it is very well done. Hats off to Dr. Johnson for renovating the home (and for making the DVD and the book).
Susan
2010-01-10 01:29:09 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I believe you can get a copy at the San Mateo County Historical Museum 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. CA
They emailed me about it awhile ago.

Good Luck!
Jen
2011-01-09 22:48:00 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Does anyone know how much the mansions worth?
Susan
2011-01-09 23:03:46 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I can only guess that the value has gone down in todays market, if put up for sale.

Although I always believe that “The value is in the eye of the beholder”.
Jen
2011-01-13 20:57:01 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Is the mansion up for tours? Or is it like closed to the public?
Jen
2011-01-13 20:57:08 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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Is the mansion up for tours? Or is it like closed to the public?
Susan
2011-01-13 21:13:45 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I don’t beleive that it is open for Tours as it is a private Residence now that Dr. Johnson and her husband bought it. I have a movie I purchased (see above) that mentions Dr. Johnson holds fundraisers there, but no tours to the public since the Decorator Showcase 20 or so years ago.
Judy Segel Romero
2011-01-17 11:28:00 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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A bit of family historey to do with the Countess and Chateau which happened around 1965. My mom (Connie Segel)got involved through her friend Mary Jane Clinton of the San Mateo Times, with some sort of charitable art show/wine tasting to be held at the Chateau and hosted by the Countess. My mom was involved in art and my dad (Mike Segel) was involved in the wine business. I remember my mom picking me up after school at Hoover, we lived on Los Robles Dr, and going with her to finish some event set up. I remember a gravel drive up, entryway, sunken livingroom? and the elevator – and of course the Countess. The Countes had a penchant for wigs at that time and it was slightlt aschew – my parents told me that frequently happened and not look straight at it. The Countess and my parents became friends, the event was a success and she invited them to the chateau for a posh dinner that included some foreign attaches. At the end of the evening, as my parents were saying goodnight, the Countess (who must have been in her 80′s) took my dad aside (dad a good looking 45ish) and told him to take my mother home and then come back to spend some time alone with her! I have no idea what his actual polite verbal response was, but you can be sure my mom heard about it in the car and they told the story at the breakfast table. The Countess was a live wire well into her old age!
bob lingaas 29-52
2012-05-29 18:34:07 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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I still remember !!

May 29, 1948 . The senior Ball at the Carolands.

Still have a few frends that were there, not many left.

What a night it WAS
( those were the days )

old man Lingaas
ROBIN O’CONNELL
2012-06-18 02:01:23 Re: CAROLANDS MANSION

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The Senior Ball (“47) given at the Carolands was because of Nancylee Smith. Nancy was the daughter of Bill Smith, Bill’s sister was Dorothy Moseley, the Moseley’s were living at the home at that time.
I loved reading all your memories.
Robin Moseley O’Connell

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