William Carson came to Northern California in the 1850's to discover gold, but instead he found a fortune in Redwood! He supplied hearty redwood lumber from Humboldt Bay to construct buildings in San Francisco where only spruce and fir had been used. And over the years he made a fortune in lumbering, milling, and other ventures.
Carson was a good businessman, creative and inventive, and his lumber mills produced finished wood products like molding, trim, shingles and doors. He eventually became involved in other successful businesses -- banks, shoe mills, and woolen mills. Carson was very charitable and treated his employees very well with good working hours, wages and meals. And when he died, he had over a hundred benefactors included many employees and their families.
During hard times Carson employed his best men to build his family a "dream home" rather than to lay them off, and thus the unique Queen Anne mansion came about. He considered many designs, but is quoted as saying "If I build it poorly, people would say I was a damned miser; if I build it expensively, they will say I'm a show off; so guess I'll just build it to suit myself.” The mansion is a fairy tale structure, with gables, turrets, cupolas, complex windows, porches and pillars. The second story has an iron framework with his insignia and initials, W.C.
Next to the mansion sits another grand Queen Anne, built as a wedding present to their son and his bride. The bright pink and white colors of the home has gained a reputation with the locals as the “Pink Lady.”