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Take a Virtual Tour

Before you visit, enjoy a preview of the various rooms in the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum.




The Officers’ sitting room, or parlor, was the area where officers could go to read their papers, smoke their pipes, write letters, play cards or games and generally relax.

The parlor was first opened to the public by Thomas Keaveney in 1923 and is currently arranged to recreate the appearance of the room during the early years. None of the furniture is original to the building, but is faithful to the time period.

The room contains two square, or box, grand pianos: an 1869 Steinway and an 1838 Numms & Clark. The Numms & Clark shipped around the Horn to California. The large table of oak inlaid with ebony was made in England in 1855, and the rug on the floor of the parlor is from 1871.

Parlor Highlights

  • The andirons in the fireplace are two of the only original pieces that were here during the Civil War.  Four pairs of these andirons were found in the basement in wooden boxes during the 1976-1977 restoration. They bear the Union coat of arms and an eagle.
  • The portrait of Abraham Lincoln actually hung in a schoolhouse when he was president.
  • The large table of oak inlaid with ebony was made in England in 1855, and is a donation from the Hearst Castle.
  • Portraits of Generals Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman and Philip Sheridan, hung over the Steinway piano, have information panels giving their services times in northern California prior to the Civil war.