Omaha landmark continues to inspire


Natasha McCallister

Josyln Castle. Photo by Natasha McCallister/the Gateway

Travel back in time and experience a different culture at the Joslyn Castle. The Scottish Baronial style mansion has 35 unique rooms with original features that will “wow” anyone that passes through its doors.

The mansion was built by George and Sarah Joslyn in 1903 at a price that totals around $7 million today. On the 5 ½ acreage, a carriage house and a conservatory were added.

Today, the castle is open for public tours and private events. The tour starts with a short historic video in the music room and then moves along to other areas in the house. Throughout the tour, there are pictures of the room layout from when the Joslyn family called the castle home.

Bobbet Grimm is volunteer guide, or docent. When asked what her favorite room was, Grimm said, “I love the library because of the circassian walnut.”

The tour explains the history of how the castle was built and why there are many different designs inside. The Joslyn family employed immigrants to help build the castle. The outside of the house is done in a Scottish style while the inside has many different exotic materials imported from Italy, Africa and Russia, to name a few.

The sink-in-the-floor is just one of the unique features of the house that is not seen in modern houses today. Exactly as it is described, it was used as a water bowl for the Joslyn family dogs. Another feature easily missed is the vestibule when walking inside. Italian marble makes up the entire entryway because it gets darker when walking into a castle.

Grimm says the best time to come and visit is around Christmas because there are over 25 holiday trees up in the house.

Keith Hart is a tour and membership coordinator for the Joslyn Castle. He explained that the money from the donations, admission fees and events such as masquerade balls, goes straight into the next restoration project for the castle.

Public tours are held every Monday, Thursday, and the first and third Sunday of every month. Admission is $8.00 for students, and $10.00 for the general public.