Spanning 24,000 square feet, this wonder of a house is unparalleled. It was built for Sarah Lockwood Pardee Winchester, heiress of the renowned Winchester Repeating Arms fortune. Curiously, she kept building and expanding for decades, starting in 1886, and stopping only at her death in 1922.
The mystery comes in many ways; why did Sarah remove herself almost entirely from the outside world to focus on this insane building project? What prompted the continuous expansion, and what purpose did it ultimately serve? Today, events of all types are held on the estate, and it draws special attention for its supposedly haunted interior.
Washington - Ann Starrett Mansion
The Starrett House was built in 1889 by George Starrett for his wife, Ann. The house was designed in the Gothic and Stick architectural styles and remains one of the best examples of the styles even today. The house famously boasts a free-standing spiral staircase that has come to be synonymous with the building.
In the 130-odd years that the house has stood, it has transformed from private residences to restaurants, to a bed and breakfast which stands today. Individual rooms can be rented out, and even the entire house can be to accommodate large gatherings or weddings. Visitors are transported back in time and can enjoy a brief stay in complete luxury.
Oregon - Aubrey Watzek House
This house is one of the prime examples of modern architecture - and that fact is made apparent when you learn it was designed in 1935 and built in 1937. The house was designed by now-famous John Yeon when he was only 26 years old. The U-shaped house features a spectacular view of Mt. Hood.
Small, guided tours are available for the Watzek House, and special arrangements can be made for school groups and university classes to visit. Visitors will learn about the movement-defining construction and its fascinating history. Advanced booking is recommended as the tours are small and fill up quickly.
Georgia - Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast
This iconic building inspired the famed Twelve Oaks of "Gone With the Wind." The house was built in 1836 by a judge named John Harris. The house changed hands a couple more times and eventually new floors were added and the house expanded into what it is today. The house is one of the finest examples of the antebellum style in the United States and has been featured in a number of publications.
The house has also been the shooting location for productions like "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Family That Preys." Most notably, it is the namesake and inspiration for Margeret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind."
Mississippi - Elvis Presley's Birthplace
Despite becoming one of the most famous musicians in music history, Elvis Presley came from humble origins. He was born and spent the early years of his life in this two-room house that his father, grandfather, and uncle built. The King of Rock and Roll lived in the Tupelo house until he was 13 when his parents were forced to move for financial concerns.
Today, statues mark Elvis' childhood, as well as acknowledge the stardom he achieved later in life. Visitors are able to see first-hand how the King lived, as well as the church he and his family attended, where he was first exposed to the gospel music that piqued his interest in music, to begin with.