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.
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.
$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.
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
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.
(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.