During a visit to Omaha, we took a tour of the Joslyn Castle, and we find out that the couple who built the home had a big impact on the city.
In the early years of Nebraska, George and Sarah Joslyn moved to Omaha with little money to their name. "The moved west to open up an office for the Western Newspaper Union," Joslyn Castle Executive Director Sidney Gnann said. "About 10 years later, George Joslyn was the majority owner of the company, with over 60 Million readers. He was one of the earlier media magnates."
The Joslyns became know around town for their wealth, and they built a castle that added to their notoriety in town. "But, they were also very generous," Gnann said. "They gave to a number of different charities. Before Sarah's passing in 1940, she gave the city of Omaha the Joslyn Art Museum. Many people know us because of the name associated with that."
The Joslyn Castle has gone through a number of changes over the years. It was originally the residence of the Joslyns. Then it housed the Liberal Arts Society who ran the art museum. Then the Omaha Public Schools ended up becoming a tenant, and had its headquarters in the castle for 44 years. Now, the castle is operated by a small non-profit, with the goal of preserving the legacy of George and Sarah Joslyn.
"They acutally build a rail spur to deliver all of the limestone to build the castle," Gnann said. "The architecture is Scottish-Baronial. We like to say we are the only castle in Nebraska." Some of the highlights of the house include the iron door that greets people at the front steps. In the vestibule, visitors will see it adorned with a beautiful hand-laid mosaic. From there, you see the grand foyer and the grand mahogany staircase that frames the room. Also, visitors can see the music room that was added to the house in 1907, four years after they completed the castle's construction.
If you are interested in seeing the castle, tours every Monday. And now, tours are also going to be offered on Sundays starting in May. The castle also offers a number of programs. To explore Nebraska's only castle, and the programs you can enjoy, check out joslyncastle.com.