Winderbourne Mansion – Boyds, Maryland - Atlas Obscura

Winderbourne Mansion

Boyds, Maryland

This abandoned Victorian-style house was built in 1884. 

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Winderbourne Mansion is a Victorian-era house built in 1884 by Enoch and Mary Totten. Enoch Totten was a Civil War veteran and Washington lawyer. Mary Totten was extremely wealthy as her father was Timothy Howe, a senator of Wisconsin who was the cousin and heir of Elias Howe, known for perfecting the sewing machine.  Elias Howe also created the Bobbin-Winder, which inspired the namesake of the house.

Originally, Winderbourne was painted pink complementing by dark rose trimming. The Tottens had a love for gardening, and staffed gardeners year round to maintain the exotic plants they imported from around the world.

Many locals believe the house to be haunted, in part because of the immense tragedy that occurred there. All three of the Totten children contracted Typhoid fever, likely from drinking contaminated drinking water. One of the children died from this. Another daughter, Edith Totten, who became a doctor, adopted a daughter of her own who died after sliding down a long banister in the house and likely falling off. 

In 1929, the house saw a change of ownership to Edward and Beulah Pickrell. Their son, Edward Pickrell Jr., inherited the house and stayed there until his death in 2004. His brother Paxton Pickrell has been attempting to sell the long decaying property for years to no avail.

The house is currently abandoned and has no plans of restoration. The site is a photographer’s dream. The property is nine acres with several old muscle cars in the backyard, along with sprawling trees and flowers. It is also located right up against Black Hills regional park with a great view of the water. The interior of the house is littered with old furniture, letters, magazines, and clothes.

Know Before You Go

The site is abandoned, however the property is littered with "No Trespassing" and "Private Property" signs. So, it may be best to observe the house from afar.