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Reconstructed 19th-Century Mansion Opens to 250 Visitors

An estimated 250 visitors took advantage of a rare chance Sunday to tour the house and gardens of the Piru Mansion, a rambling building in the Queen Anne style with turrets and stonework about 11 miles west of the Golden State Freeway off California 126 in Piru.

Completed after four years of construction in 1890 by a devout Methodist publisher who wanted to re-create the Garden of Eden, the mansion today is the private residence of Ruth and Scott Newhall, longtime Santa Clarita Valley newspaper publishers and philanthropists who open its to the public once or twice a year for charitable events.

Replete with antiques and legends that include a resident ghost, the mansion was destroyed by fire in 1981 after it was ignited by a painter’s blowtorch during the final stages of a 13-year restoration project. It has since been completely restored to its original design and grandeur.

The $7.50 admission fee charged Sunday will benefit Friends of Hart Park, a nonprofit group that maintains and manages another area landmark--the Newhall estate of the late silent film star William S. Hart.

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