New owners living in Homestake MansionLEAD (AP) — It can be said with almost 100 percent certainty that many little girls who have seen the Homestake Mansion in Lead had a dream of one day living there. That dream has come true for Sandee Coe.
By: SANDA GEFFRE, Black Hills Pioneer
LEAD (AP) — It can be said with almost 100 percent certainty that many little girls who have seen the Homestake Mansion in Lead had a dream of one day living there.
That dream has come true for Sandee Coe, who, with her husband Gary Coe, bought the historic 10,000-square-foot treasure overlooking the city of Lead.
Sandee, who grew up in Vale, recalls driving by the magnificent brick English Tudor-style home as a young girl, dreaming of her castle.
While en route to family ski outings with her own children many years later, she recalls telling them, “We’re going to live there some day.”
That someday came this past October, when she and her husband of 47 years bought the property.
Some days she has to remind herself that “Yes, this really is our home.”
The Homestake Mansion has stood as an iconic reminder of Lead’s illustrious gold-mining past for more than three-quarters of a century, home to Homestake Mining Company general managers for decades and used to entertain corporate executives and other dignitaries throughout the years.
Homestake donated the mansion to the Rushmore National Health System in 1984 as a retreat and conference center, and it has since been utilized in a similar manner by subsequent owners that have included the Golden Hills Resort, the Kenneth Kellar Foundation and Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Actor Kevin Costner purchased the property in 1996, and he and his family used it for guests, entertaining and offices for many years. Costner sold it to the Kellar Foundation in 2004.
The elegance of the mansion is as rich as its history.
Built in 1933 at a cost of $200,000, Homestake spared no expense in building the stunning home that features 27 rooms and boasts five bedrooms, five full baths, two half-baths and six fireplaces, including a corner fireplace in the master suite upstairs.
A balcony off the master bedroom overlooks the great room, offering an impressive view of the massive fireplace that takes center stage.
Huge picture windows surrounded by smaller wooden window panes line two exterior walls in the room accented by beams lining its 30-foot arched ceiling, and two baby grand pianos that have entertained thousands of guests serve as a second focal point.
From the unique angles throughout the home, French chandeliers, brass candelabras and arched doorways to the 24-karat gold fixtures and accents in the master bathroom, the home was designed to impress.
The Coes have spent countless hours since October restoring many of the manor’s rich details back to their original splendor.
They uncovered the beautiful wood floors that had been covered by carpet, and stripped doors and expertly crafted trim of paint to reveal the beautiful oak underneath.
A fresh coat of paint on the walls and other minor changes also helped to enhance the rich look of the mansion’s interior.
“Our goal is to make this a nice home and presentable event center that still retains the elegance and ambience of the mansion,” said Sandee. “This is a Lead treasure.”
Gary said he is grateful to own a home that carries such a colorful history.
“We love living here,” he said. “Some days we walk around in awe of the beauty of the mansion. Sometimes we feel like royalty.”
The Coes are anxious to create their own history in the mansion, as others have before them.
The front entryway offers a preview to the craftsmanship and beauty within the mansion with its beveled glass pocket doors and clay tiles that depict hieroglyphics of the city of gold. Stained glass windows on either side of the front door add to the elegance.
The original door chime even works, playing a musical reminder that guests have arrived.
Wood used throughout the home was sawn timber from the Homestake sawmill. Homestake miners were hired to build the home, their skillfulness apparent from the carefully laid tiles and masterful masonry to the handcrafted oak trim and other woodwork, including an 11-foot-long table in the formal dining room.
A sun room, master kitchen, smaller auxiliary kitchen, butler’s pantry used as a breakfast nook and an adjoining garage transformed into a matching cottage house complete the main floor.
Except for the maids’ quarters, all the bathrooms are original and functional with pastel-colored pedestal sinks and tile. Etched roses adorn one of the sinks on the main level.
Many of the original phones and the intercom system remain tucked into built-in coves throughout the manor.
No detail was overlooked in the design of the master bathroom, built as the bathroom of the future, said Sandee.
The impressive room appears untouched with its original art deco light fixtures, large shower with four shower heads and the 24-karat gold fixtures and accents throughout.
The Coes discovered the porcelain tiles enclosing the 6-foot-long tub came from the Chicago World’s Fair via William Randolph Hearst, whose father, George, owned the Homestake Mine.
The bedrooms are all located upstairs, including former servant’s quarters with two bedrooms and full baths.
The stairs leading to the basement are imported golden maple.
The lower level consists of a large boardroom, once used as a ballroom. There is also a study, which once was the smoking room, three more bathrooms and a laundry room.
The 1.8 acres of impeccably groomed trees, shrubs, flowers and lawn surrounding the mansion, as well as the abundance of trailing vines that cover the brick and stucco exterior, create the perfect outdoor setting for the home’s magnificence.
The Coes have settled comfortably into their new home which will double as a place to host events.
In addition to weddings, meetings and other events, the couple hopes to offer it as a base from which charitable organizations can host fundraisers and other special occasions.
The Coes are hosting a Lead Chamber of Commerce mixer on July 11, giving the community its first opportunity to view the mansion’s renewed splendor.
“We are very happy that we can make it part of the community,” said Gary.