PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — A landmark in this Olympic Peninsula town, the 112-year-old Manresa Castle, was sold Tuesday for $2.05 million.
At an auction with 22 bidders, the building came complete, down to the furnishings.
The building, which boasts a stunning view of Port Townsend Bay and the Olympic Mountains, has 40 guest rooms, 43 baths, several great rooms for entertaining and — rumor has it — two ghosts.
It has been operated in recent years as a hotel. But the new owner, Bill Massey, owner of Island Construction Co., isn’t saying what he plans to do with the grand stone building.
“I’m just going to figure out what to do with it later. I’ll let you know,” he told KING-TV in Seattle.
The Jefferson County assessor had valued the building at $1.9 million.
Lena Humber, of San Rafael, Calif., who had owned the castle, said she decided to sell it because, before her husband died in June 2002, he had told her to stop working so much. By selling the castle, she hopes to have more time to relax and allow a new owner to inject new life into the building, she said.
Originally, the building was a private home built by Charles Eisenbeis, an immigrant who came to Port Townsend in 1858 from Germany. He made a fortune in lumber, bricks and banking and became the first mayor of Port Townsend in 1878, serving three terms.
The castle was completed in 1892, and Eisenbeis lived in it with his second wife until his death in 1912.
In 1925, a Seattle lawyer purchased the building, planning to set up a vacation home for the teaching sisters of the Catholic schools in Seattle.
When that plan did not work out, the Society of Jesus, a Catholic religious order known as the Jesuits, purchased it in 1927 for a school and retreat center. The Jesuits named it Manresa Hall after the Spanish town where the order was founded.
It became a hotel in 1968 and changed hands twice before Humber bought it in 1989.
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