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Once the show-place of Lakeside, there is an air of grandeur still surrounding the Castle House. Built on a slight knoll, a wonderful view of the valley can be seen from the windows, especially the tower rooms.

Castle House was built in 1886-87 by Mr. G. H. Mansfield, Vice-President of the El Cajon Valley Land Company. He was a bachelor from New York, and he built it as a show place in the style popular in New England at that time. This was the first house in the new town.

Costing $9,000 in gold, it was built of Redwood from Oregon with double floors of pine. The shingles on the second story and the tower were diamond shaped. All of the original windows in the house have a border of varied colored small panes of glass, typical of Colonial days. On the first floor is a large pantry. The staircase leads to the second floor with its five bedrooms, two large hall closets and second tower room. A narrow circular stairway leads to the top tower room, which makes an excellent observatory for viewing the valley.

G. H. Mansfield

The Castle House with carriage barn

The foundation goes sixteen feet below the ground and is made out of hand-chipped stones. The cellar was used for storing canned fruits and vegetables. The two marble fireplaces were imported from Italy. Onyx doorknobs, the hand-carved banister and the chandeliers, some from the old Horton House in San Diego, add to the charm of the house. None of the rooms are square — some have five sides, others six, seven and even eight sides. Dark, intricately carved molding flows around the edge of each room. The ceilings are twelve feet high!

Originally there were fifty acres of orchard and vineyards surrounding the house. He raised grapes for raisins and he became known as the King of Raisins.

The house has changed occupants many times since its construction. Some of the inhabitants were Mr. and Mrs. Dodge, the Wormingtons, the Cheesemans, the Oaks, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Helm, Harold Brinton, Lee Keech and the Strays.

The owner (caretaker) in 2000 was David Layman. He, and his late wife Genevieve, have done a wonderful job of restoring the Castle House to its original beauty. The people of Lakeside thank them both for their dedication to the preservation of this wonderful historic home.

The Castle House c. 1970's

Mr. & Mrs. Wormington, second owners of the house. c.1909. Photo taken by the Tramp Photographer

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