Venue Spotlight: Wedgewood Sequoia Mansion
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Exuding an intriguing sense of history and charm, Sequoia Mansion looks more befitting in the folds of an old storybook than atop a gentle knoll in Placerville, California. Here, the quaint Victorian architecture toys with a playful, whimsical touch that draws the gaze. The mansion is a delightful sketch off the pages of history, housed in the beautiful and historic Bee-Bennett House. Originally built in 1853 by Colonel Frederick Bee, a California Gold Rush pioneer and founder of the Bee Telegraph Company, the house served its owner until it was transformed into a 16-room mansion in 1889 by Judge Marcus P. Bennett and his wife Mary. It is within the dusty blue walls of the mansion that Mary Bennett entertained members of her social circle, becoming well known for her parties and her Shakespeare Club. The charming tale of the Bee-Bennett house continues under the ownership of Nello and Danica Olivo. As winemakers, the Olivos introduced the fine art of wine to the restored mansion, opening up the basement as the Nello Olivo wine cellar and tasting room. While Shakespeare Club is no longer on the agenda at the Sequoia Mansion, the festive essence of the past lives on in this romantic, one-of-a-kind setting.
Sequoia Mansion sits at the end of a driveway, eye-catching with its sprightly tint, eclectic collection of gables, scalloped shingles, and lattice panels framing the wrap-around porch. The mansion appears to blend into the azure sky above, surrounded by soaring trees that tuck it into a woodsy enclave. Soft shrubs frame the carpet of trimmed grass that forms the quaint lawn area. Facing out to this serene scene is the glass-enclosed Veranda. Rays of sunlight fill each corner of this unique room, dancing across the metallic, textured ceiling to create a shimmering, romantic glow. A step past the Veranda reveals a cozy room dressed in warm wood, accented by a handsome wooden bar, a hand-carved 19th century fireplace, and intricate tapestries gracing the walls. The room flows into the bright and airy parlor, where a Victorian settee offers prime seating for admiring the flowering branches delicately stained into the glass windows. Beyond the windows, a noble Sequoia tree rests peacefully on a stone patio in the garden. The main attraction, the Empire Ballroom, invites guests to gaze up at the Victorian chandeliers dripping from the vaulted ceiling. The warm lighting illuminates the ballroom, fostering a lively atmosphere suited for evening festivities.