History and Mystery: The fascinating story of the Burrage Mansion

Albert C. Burrage (1859-1931) Photo: Men of Massachusetts, 1903

The mansion’s enigmatic history makes for a fitting backdrop to our upcoming Murder Mystery Dinner fundraiser.

It all began in the year 1900, when Mr. Albert Cameron Burrage of Massachusetts – a Harvard University graduate and “copper king” of Boston – purchased the 17.57 acre lot by telegram for the sum of $17,500 from the Redlands Orange Grove and Water Company. Mr. Burrage began construction in 1901 on what would become one of the most magnificent Spanish Mission Revival residences in Southern California.


Some of the 28-room, 37,000-square foot estate’s most striking features include the red Spanish-tiled roof, curved gables and two dome towers. It is said to be a full-scale copy of a Spanish mission. Other extravagant interest points are the polo field, where the Burrage family polo ponies entertained their esteemed guests two months out of the year, and a glass-covered swimming pool. Architect Charles Brigham, one of two architects to design the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in Copley Square, designed the home.

Marie of the Incarnation.

After Mr. Burrage’s death, the home was used as a convent from 1940 to 1974 by the Sisters of the Order of Missionary Catechists of Our Blessed Lady of Victory. In 1974 new city requirements required renovations to accommodate people for worship services. The expenses were not feasible and the nuns reluctantly left the property.

Today, paranormal enthusiasts and local legend propagators claim to see the spirits of several disgruntled, departed sisters haunt the property.  Check out this article from the Redlands Daily Facts about the reported hauntings at the Burrage Mansion. “Leonard Smith, the groundskeeper at the mansion for the past five years, has a handful of stories that can be described only as paranormal in nature – doors slamming, objects moving on their own, strange noises and voices,” writes Ed Castro.

Murder Mystery_linked_v3The Burrage Mansion is not open to the public. Guests attending the dinner party will receive a rare glimpse inside this local treasure, as well as dinner and dessert.

Guests will dine while unraveling “The Mystery of the Purloined Séance,” brought to life by Mystery To Dine For based in Shadow Hills, California.

Alcohol will be served; your first drink is provided and all guests are encouraged to wet their palates at the cash bar. Guests must be 21 years or older to attend.

The Girl Scouts’ Murder Mystery Dinner will be Friday, November 14 from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. Tickets for this thrilling event are $65 and registration closes on November 11, 2014. Seating is limited, so early registration is encouraged!

Join us for an evening of fine dining and intrigue at the historic Burrage Mansion in Redlands! Death lurks in the darkness…can you solve the mystery?


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