California State Parks

Home : Then & Now

Functions of the Mansion

The Leland Stanford Mansion is the State’s most prestigious venue for California’s highest level of Protocol meetings and receptions for visiting dignitaries hosted by the Governor and First Lady, the Legislature and Constitutional Officers.

The Mansion was home and office to three Governors: Leland Stanford, Frederick Low and Henry Haight. During the 1860s the Mansion served as an executive office space until the State Capitol Building was ready for use in 1869. It was the site of countless important meetings and gatherings involving the future of the State and the development of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Upon the death of Governor Stanford in 1900, his wife Jane Lathrop Stanford donated the home and its furnishings, along with modest endowments to the Diocese of Sacramento for its use as a home for “friendless children.” It served in that capacity until the 1980s when the State of California purchased the Mansion under the auspices of California State Parks.

The rehabilitation of the Mansion and its return to public use is the result of a successful public-private partnership between the Leland Stanford Mansion Foundation and California State Parks.

The Mansion is to be reserved for only the most important gatherings of the Governor and First Lady, the Leadership of the Legislature, particularly the Speaker and President Pro Tempore and Constitutional Officers.

Under the stewardship of California State Parks, the Leland Stanford Mansion will resume its role and function as a place where “California Greets the World” and where California’s leadership will meet to decide the course of California’s business and economy.

The Mansion is managed by California State Parks and is open to the general public for tours approximately 75% of the time.