the Haunted Chamberof Baranov Castle
Only two sets are known to exist.
The other set, made by the same U. S. S. Pinta officers at the same time, are in the Alaska State Museum.
Original artifacts from Russian America are exceedingly rare.
Written below the hinges: "Door-hinges from the 'Haunted' Chamber of the old Baranoff Castle at Sitka, Alaska. 1889"
The following is the documentation that accompanies the set in the Alaska State Museum collection:
"Presented to Territorial Museum by Commander - Later Rear Admiral - O.W. Farenholt, U.S. Navy, Comdg USS Pinta 1889-1892, by Rear Admiral A. Farenholt MC U.S.Navy." Card accompanying specimen reads "Obtained by Rear Admiral O.W. Farenholt While in command of the U.S.S. Pinta in Alaskan Waters. Presented to the Museum by his son, Rear Admiral (M.C.) A. Farenholt, as a memorial to his Father." The last two stanzas of "The Legend of Baranoff Castle" are written in ink on a card and this card is secured to the back of the wooden mount by a red star (?) at each corner. "The Legend of Baranoff Castle" is by Henry E. Haydon. See Poems on Alaska. The Land of the Midnight Sun, by Authors residing in the territory, Illustrated, Alaskan Print, Sitka, Alaska, 1891. A typewritten paper, probably taken from a letter is pasted to the back of the mount below the above poem. It reads "These hinges, will, I think, explain themselves. You undoubtedly know the history of the tragic death of the daughter of the Russian Governor, on her wedding eve: Throwing herself from the balcony of her bedroom - the "haunted chamber" when she saw the figure of her lover who was returning to claim her after an imposed (by her father) absence of a year. Her father disapproved of her marrying an American (he was in the U.S. Navy) and forced her to marry a Russian and it was on the very night she married this man that her American lover returned and she, seeing the ship from her window and him running up to the castle, threw herself over the balcony with fatal results. The servants declared that her ghost walked nightly in her room and, until the castle was torn down, the room was kept locked."
These door hinges are mentioned by Dr. Richard A. Pierce in his article: "The Ghost of Baranov Castle; Folklore or Fakelore". Alaska Magazine, May, 1970.
Baranov Castle burned to the ground on March 17, 1894.
Dr. Richard A. Pierce states "With luck, the castle might have survived to our day, legend and all, to be Alaska's most valued architectural relic."
"When the castle was turned over to the United States authorities as government property, it was magnificently furnished and in perfect condition; but in the period after the troops were withdrawn and before the civil government was established it was neglected, like everything else, and has been completely stripped, spoiled and defaced. Every portable thing has been carried off, the beautifully wrought chandelier, the queer knobs and massive hinges of the doors, even the huge old porcelain stoves from Russia. The great lantern, and even the reflector that sent its beams over the sea, have all disappeared, and the place is little more than a ruin." Leigh Younge
[shelf locator: Glass Case] Very good condition and very heavy. Price on request. To order this item email dick@AlaskaWanted.com
The key is 6.5 inches long. It came out of the attic of Kellerís Drug Store in Skagway, Alaska. During the gold rush this building was the studio of Case and Draper. In the attic was found thousands of original Case & Draper photographs and other early Alaska artifacts.
[shelf locator: Glass Case] Good condition. $500 + $10 postage and insurance. To order this item email dick@AlaskaWanted.com
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