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Whittier Mansion

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Perched on the side of a hill in the exclusive Pacific Heights district of San Francisco stands the historic Whittier Mansion. Built in 1896 by William Franklin Whittier, head of what would become known as the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The 16,000 sq. ft., four story, 30 room mansion was unusual for it's day having been built of brick, wood, and red sandstone.

Spared by the 1906 quake it was home to Whittier and his family until his death in 1917 at the age of 85. His heirs sold the mansion in 1938 to the Deutsche Reich and it became San Francisco's German Consulate. In the post-war years it was used as a Philosophical institute until 1956 when it became home to the California Historical Society.

The society conducted business and led tours of the mansion through 1993 when it again returned to private ownership.


Over the years many unexplained occurrences have taken place in the mansion, mostly centered around the basement and servant's quarters where people have reported seeing shadowy outlines and feeling ice cold presences. Others, who have seen nothing, report feeling uneasy being in the basement and refuse to be there alone.

Most believe that it is the ghost of William Franklin Whittier, but at least one of the former docents believe that the ghost is actually that of Whittier's rambunctious son Billy. Billy was a man who lived for wine, women, and song and as the former location of his father's wine collection it's only natural that Billy still haunts the room he loved in life.

The Whittier Mansion is now a private residence. Please respect the occupant's privacy. For more information about the Whittier Mansion please contact the California Historical Society.


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