In 1903, George and Sarah Joslyn, completed one of Nebraska’s greatest homes—a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion atop a hill on Omaha’s outskirts.
The four-story house was completed at a cost of $250,000—about $6 million in 21st century dollars. The pace of construction—11 months—was amazing, given the rich use of carved wood, stained glass, chiseled stone, mosaic tiles, and wrought iron.
The Castle and the carriage house were built of Kansas silverdale limestone.
The Castle includes a reception hall, music room, ballroom, a library and gold drawing room. The basement at one time housed a bowling alley. With the addition of a music room in 1906, the house totaled 19,360 square feet. The interior of the home’s conservatory was designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen in 1913.
George Joslyn died in 1916, in his sixties. Sarah lived on the 5.5-acre estate until her death in 1940 at age 88. From 1944 to 1989, the home served as the headquarters of the Omaha Public Schools. To preserve the integrity of this architectural treasure, the State of Nebraska took title 20 years ago, and the Joslyn Castle Trust has managed it. In 2010, the Trust purchased the Castle and grounds from the state.
The castle is an Omaha Landmark Historic Structure and on the National Register of Historic Places for national significance. The grounds are part of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.