Salisbury House and Gardens

Salisbury House - Des Moines, Iowa
Salisbury House – Des Moines

Hard to believe I was in Des Moines, Iowa when I took this picture.  The Salisbury House is an exact duplicate of the King’s House (owner’s name, not title) located in Salisbury, England.  The vegetation, layout, grounds and even the weather made me think I was in the UK.

Carl Weeks, who made his fortune in cosmetics, fell in love with this house while visiting Salisbury, England in the early 1920’s.  Raw materials, as well as salvaged historic and contemporary structures, were shipped from England to elevate the Des Moines home’s grandeur and  authenticity.  At a cost of $3 million the forty-two room, 28,000 sq. ft. mansion was built on ten acres near downtown Des Moines.

Carl, his wife Edith, and their four boys lived in the house from 1926 to 1954, although the 1929 stock market crash and subsequent Depression eventually made ownership impractical.  Weeks donated the house to Drake University in 1934, which allowed him to remain in the house as tenants until his youngest son graduated from college.  The University  later sold it to the Iowa State Education Association for $180,000.  The property is currently owned by the Salisbury House Foundation.  Easy come, easy go.

Thought for the Day:  There is no cause to worry.  The high tide of prosperity will continue.                                          Andrew W. Mellon, Secretary of Treasury,  Sept, 1929

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