Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Filoli - "A Country House"

Filoli is located 30 mile south of San Francisco on the eastern slope of the Coast Range. The 654-acre estate contains a gorgeous Georgian Mansion (used as Blake Carrington's mansion on the TV show Dynasty) and 16 acres of formal gardens and orchards.

Filoli was built in 1915 for prominent San Franciscan William Bourn II and his wife Agnes. The Bourns primary source of wealth came from the Empire Mine, a hard rock gold mine located in Grass Valley, California. You can view my previous posts about visiting the Empire Mine HERE.

Mr. Bourn got the unusual name for his estate by combining the first two letters of his motto: "Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life."

After both Mr. & Mrs. Bourn died in 1936, the estate was purchased by the William P. Roth family who owned the Matson Navigation Company. Mrs. Roth lived in the home until 1975, when she donated 125 acres, which included the home and formal garden, to be preserved for future generations. It is now operated by the Filoli Center.

While I was visiting my sister in Silicon Valley a couple of weeks ago, we visited Filoli. I took loads of pictures, which I finally have downloaded and organized.

Are you ready for a tour? I don't know which I'm more excited to show you...the house or the gardens!

Here's a preview:

First is the entrance courtyard. Just a hint of the grandeur to come...

The left front lawn contains the most gorgeous Magnolia tree I've ever seen! It's been there since the house was built

The right front lawn and the windows to the ballroom. Love the Irish Yews! Over 200 of them grow on the property, all started from cuttings taken from Muckross House, the Bourn family property in Ireland.

Come back on Friday and we'll tour the house.

Enjoy! Chris


  1. I think it's beautiful! I love English gardens...oh be still my heart! Thanks for the eye candy on this rainy day~

  2. Loved the gardens but I can't wait to see the house !
    And yes I sure wish we could go junkin together Chris ! :) :)
    I hope I remember to come back and look at this house.I have TOO many blogs I try to keep up with . HUGS.

  3. Hello!
    I wandered over to your blog because I saw a comment you left on Susie's blog at Bienvenue. Your little icon photo captured my attention as it is beautiful. Thought I would see what else I could find. Love your posting on the mansion. Blake Carrington...Dynasty, what a blast from the past. The photo of the front of your sister's house is so wonderful. Yes, I can see myself having a cup of coffee and enjoying life in that setting! I'll be back for the inside tour.

  4. So lovely - wish I had time to visit here. You must come South and see our magnolias - they are gigantic and the blossoms smell so wonderful!

    Yeah, would love to have met up with you. Where in Northern Calif. are you Chris?


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