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The Story Of A Deserted Nevada Mansion

The Story Of A Deserted Nevada Mansion image
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All resklents of Nevada will recall what a famous rcsort Bowers' Mansion used to be in the liush times some lifteen years ago. Sandy Bowers made some lucky turns in Crown Point and Beloher, and almost before lie knew it was worth a cool million, and some say more. He believed that money was made to use, and so purchased some property near Washoe Lake and built nis mansion. It was by far the most pretentious dwelling that ever had been thonght of in Nevada; and when people saw the broadand solid masonry going up, they wondcred if it would not bankrupt its builder. After the house was finished the Bowers went to Europe for upholstery and furniture. The house cost 100,000 to build and the furniture cost about as mucli more. It was a simple proposition with Bowers to have everything in sight regardless of expense. He had about him some bad advisers in those days, and they led him into all sorts of reckless extravagance. He was open-hearted and liberal as the day, and the mansion beoame a favorito resort. He was never happier than when he had a big CTOwd dancing in his parlona and drinking his champagne. He gave graad suppers, balls and receptions, and the biggerthe erowd the betterhe liked it. This sort of thing went on for ycars, and presently Bowers reached the bottom of his sack. Gradual ly the propperty passed out of his hands; it went little by little, but it went all the same, and finally Sandy Bowers died in povert v and left a widow known as the "Washoe Seeress," a good, kindhearted, genial oíd lady who makes a living by revealing the future, and is looked upon as a wondcrful medium by the spiritualists. After his death the glories of the mansion departcd, and at the present time it is uninhabited. A few Sundays ago au Appeal reporter visited the place. The gate was tied up und the unbroken road showed that no carriages had driven through it for many a day. A stroll over the grounds showed that they were reallydeserted by e very thing except the birdsand jack rabbits. The dancing hall was empty, and the old bath-house supplied with water from the hot springs had been turned into'a sort of hostlerie for the wayfariug tramps, who, at the approach of footsteps, eravvled out and betook themselves to the hills. The trees, no longer ])runed or cared for, had begun to assume the form and look of the natural production, and called to mind the Unes from Hood's Haunted House: The very yew, formality had trained To sueh a risrid pyramtdal statue, For want of trlmmlnif. bad almostregalned Tho rugiredncss of nature. The fountain, whioh in better days had sent its jets of silver high in air and showered its spray upon the grass when the wind was high, had evidently not beoD in a state of activity for years. The upper basin was as dry as a liniekiln, and the lower one was in but little better condition. The fountain wns a dry - negloct and time Had inurred the work of artisun and masón. The efts and croakinji trom, bfigat of slimo, Sprawlcd in the ruined basin. At the approach of the scribe a nuraber of the last namod croaked a lugubrious acknowledgment, which, i f the languagp of reptiles means anything, was a palpable hint to take a walk. A blacksnake lay coileil on the edge of the masonry. Unabashed by human presence, he continued basking in the sun, and wore the air of a party who knew his rights. Lizards darted in and out of the crevices of the stones, and mottled toads, with bellies of aldermanic patterns, sweated and sweltered in the grass, the growth of whieh no lawnmower had ever worried. The house had kept paco with the premises in the matter of decaying. The doors were all nailed up, and any oue stepping on the porch would wager any amountthat the building was empty. Each tread was multiplied into a score of echoes which only empty houses respond to. A peep through the windows showed nothing but uncarpeted lloors, bare walls and ghastly white ceilings. Bowers had built a lish pond when he was llush, and not forgetting that scenery was something, placedan island in the center. This was covered with a delightful growth of -villows, which swept the water with truly picturesque effect. The fish, snakes and turtles held possession of this spot, and seemed oblivious of intrusión. The water was perfectly clear, and from the bottom a curious vegetable growth was discernible, which was in itself a sullicient attraction to repay a visit. The weed line and ffi'eeo, and arose nsuch heavy masses that half the ponrl was lilled with it.- Appeal.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat