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About the Old Governor's Mansion

The house that would become the Executive Mansion of the state of California was built in 1877 for Albert Gallatin. It was purchsed by California in 1903 for $32,500, and served as the Governor of California's residence until Ronald Reagan became the 33rd Governor in 1967. The exterior of the building was being renovated at the time of our visit.

Ghost Stories

Our tour guide, Joe, had worked in the mansion 20 years had experienced some strange phenomena on the staircase between the dining room and the kitchen. He has been alone in the house and heard footsteps on that staircase.

According to the tour guide, Earl Warren Jr, son of California's 30th Governor, Justice of the Supreme Court, and head of the (in)famous Warren Commision had heard these footsteps during his stay in house during his father's term. Earl Junior's bedroom was near the stairs.

 Another second hand account from this tour guide was of a female guide who had gone to the second floor to put up the red cords to keep visitors out of certain rooms. She went around the mansion from right to left putting up the cords, but when she turned around from the blue room, the last on her circuit, all of the other cords were undone. She redid them and then something grabbed her rear end. She quit.

Our Review

The tour itself was more about the people who lived in the mansion than anything else. While the tour guide tried to make it interesting for the kids and adults by asking how people would view the place if they were going to buy the place, or be invited to live there with the governor and his family. I found that his asking for people’s names, cities, ages, and political affiliations a bit too personal. We could only tour the first two floors, so there really wasn’t much area to cover. Perhaps asking people questions and initiating the idea of role-playing imagining yourself invited to live there was his way of getting the crowd involved in a what would otherwise be a very short tour.

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