3. Searles Castle

This French chateau-style house was originally built by one of the founders of the Central Pacific Railroad, Mark Hopkins, for her wife, Sherwood Hopkins. The 40-room, seven-story castle was built by the prominent architectural firm Mckim, Mead & White. After Mark Hopkins’s death in 1878, Mary Hopkins married Edward Francis Searles, the interior designer of the castle, who was also thirty years her junior. And so, the castle is named after the interior designer, rather than Mark Hopkins, who commissioned it.

After Hopkin’s death, Searles lived at Searles Castle until his death in 1920. Afterwards, the estate was used as a private girl’s school for thirty years, before changing many hands and usages. Since the mid-1980’s Searles Castle has housed John Dewey Academy, a school for troubled teens.