The Baker Mansion is one of twenty eight historical places added to the National Register of Historic Places in Blair County. Baker Mansion is located near the Blair County Historical Society along Route 36 in Altoona PA.
In 1836, Elias Baker, a Lancaster County merchant, and his cousin, Roland Diller, purchased the Alleghany Furnace and 3,373 acres of land. Elias brought his wife, Hetty, and 2 sons, David and Sylvester, to reside in the house near the furnace. Their daughter, Anna, was born not long after they moved to the area. In 1844, Roland sold Elias his share of the business.
Also in 1844 Elias hired Baltimore architect Robert Cary Long Jr to design him a more suitable home. The result was Baker Mansion, completed in 1849 at a cost of $15,000.Grander by far than any other home in the area, quite a few locals called it "Baker's Folly", because they thought it was grander than Elias capital. Plenty of iron was used in the building of Baker Mansion, including the porch railing, the window trim, window grates, even the front and rear columns are made of cast iron part of the way up. In 1852 David died in a steamboat boiler explosion not long after his daughter Louise was born. When Elias died in 1864 his son Sylvester took over the furnace and operated it until 1884. Upon the closure of the furnace Sylvester formed a real-estate company to develop the family's vast property. Local legend says Elias Baker ruled his mansion with an iron fist. Having forbade his daughter to marry the man she loved, Anna, having never married, was the last Baker to live in the mansion. She died in 1914.The house leased by the Blair County Historical Society in 1922 was opened as a museum. The society purchased the mansion in 1941 for $10,500. While it is said the entire Baker family haunts the mansion, including Elias himself, it is daughter Anna whose hauntings have been singled out the most.The Blair County Historical Society placed a wedding dress in a glass case in Anna’s bedroom. Witnesses have seen the glass case rocking back and forth. People think Anna is upset by the wedding dress being placed in her room. Even trained police dogs lay down outside the house, refusing to enter the mansion. Visit Baker Mansion today, if you dare, for a chance to see the ghosts of the Baker family and view the history behind them.
Baker Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in Blair County in 1975. View more photos of Baker Mansion.
Location of Baker Mansion