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Haunted Dwelling — Rengstorff House
3070 North Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, California 94043
Originally located at 1737 Stierlin Road, this mansion was moved to Shoreline Park where it was restored, and opened as a museum. Tours are given on Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday, 11:00 - 5:00 P.M. When it is not open as a museum, the first floor and garden are rented out for various occasions for people in the community, which would've greatly pleased the original owners. (Upstairs rooms are used by the Shoreline staff.)
This magnificent Victorian mansion was built in 1864-1867 by a wealthy German immigrant, Henry Rengstorff, as a family home. It originally sat on 164 acres of prime land, that had a great view of the bay, east of today's Shoreline Business Park. On this Bay, Rengstorff had his ship landing and warehouse business that helped develop the economy of Mountain View. His flat bottom scows carried passengers and area farmer's lumber, fruits, grains to the markets in the nearby big cities, such as Sacramento and San Francisco. The returning ships brought hardware and supplies for this growing community. It was a win-win situation. Everyone prospered.
As he had a large family of nine people, including seven children, this mansion has 16 rooms, a total of 3,955 square feet. The first floor has four large front parlors, that each have a marble fireplace. The large dining room has a large fireplace with a wooden mantel. All downstairs rooms are decorated with Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper, cove molding, picture rails, push button light switches, & chain rails.
Because of its size and beauty, the Rengstorff's hosted community weddings, parties, community gatherings and events. This mansion, originally built with wood from virgin redwood and Douglas fir trees, is one of the finest examples of Victorian Italianate architecture. The facade of the house is symmetrical. Pillars surround the central entrance, helping to hold up the second floor. The front of the mansion has bay windows on both floors, with balustrades. (The family had a great view of the bay, when it was located on the other prime real estate). A widow's walk is on the roof as well. A large and beautiful garden surrounds the mansion.
HISTORY of MANIFESTATIONS:
Members of the Rengstorff family lived in this mansion, until 1959, when a grandson, Perry Askam, sold the mansion to a land development company. Over the next 20 years, it was lived in by a flurry of people, but no one stayed for long, due to the spooky manifestations that scared the living. This once gorgeous mansion fell into a dilapidated state, and fell into ruins. Finally, the city of Mountain View purchased the mansion in 1979 for a $1.00, and moved it to its present location, where it was expertly restored, and once again serves the community, as a historic home and a place to have events of all sorts.
The disturbances that discouraged people from staying very long, happened on the second floor, probably at night.
An apparition of a young lady was often seen looking out one of the windows in an upstairs bedroom, waiting for someone to come. Her presence could be felt by others. A sense of sorrow could be felt by psychic-prone people.
The living were treated to unexplained thumps, bangs, strange noises, cold spots, which would naturally wake people up to the fact that they were not alone.
Crying of the unhappy, heart broken young lady could be heard at various times.
Who was this unhappy presence? No one is saying, but it sounds like someone's unhappy teenager or young person, suffering from a broken relationship, or some other emotional disaster. Someone who was devastated, and would've benefited from psychological help. Someone who couldn't let go of her loss completely, enough to go to the other side.
It is unknown whether this unhappy presence is still around. When they moved the mansion, she could've stayed behind on the original land, or moved on to the next world. Presently no manifestations are reported, or admitted to. The public uses the first floor and gardens, while the second floor hosts the offices. No one is on the second floor at night. So, who would know if she still haunts the second floor?