Well, the lottery to go see the inside of Carolands Mansion in Hillsborough – but truly they are one and the same.
Growing up on the Peninsula – Carolands was the location of many a tale. I will never forget the first time my eyes fell upon this majestic chateau… It was sunset, my dad and I headed to a friend’s house when he took a different route, and there, peaking out over the trees and rooftops I saw this exquisite home for the first time. I perked up in my seat, my dad knew this home would have an effect on me. My jaw dropped, my eyes lit up and a tear fell when I saw how forgotten this home had become. The sky was tinted purple, its ominous shadow carved into the night. It was the start of my deep love affair with this White House of the West.
As I grew up, I’d take every friend to see this majestic palace. My favorite was Halloween night when our car just stopped working as we rolled by. My heart sped up, we all got a little scared and suddenly we didn’t want to be near this spectacular abode any longer. But that didn’t stop me, I’d drive by over the years, watch it fall apart, and get put back together again.
The more I knew about Carolands, the more I was hell-bent on seeing the inside (legally of course.)
On my ongoing quest for local history, I came across their website in 2018, and to my surprise, they were collecting names for a tour lottery.
When I got the email that I was going to be able to tour – you would have thought I won the actual lottery.
Standing inside the gates gave me goosebumps. This house was restored and it was spectacular. We weren’t allowed to snap photos inside, as the home was a personal residence. But to stand there, to walk through those halls, to feel the air rush through the windows. It was a lifelong dream come true.
If you’d like to experience this breathtaking home – visit http://carolands.org/
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