Charles Eisenbeis, who immigrated from Prussia, settled in Port Townsend in 1858. A prominent business man and entrepreneur, Charles became the town’s first mayor - and held the position for three terms.
In 1892, Charles and his wife, Kate, built Manresa Castle (then known as Eisenbeis Castle) to accommodate their ever growing family. The two had four children of their own in addition to the four children Charles had had in a previous marriage. A.S. Whiteway was the designer and builder of Eisenbeis Castle; a three story, thirty room masterpiece that had twelve inch thick walls. Throughout, it had hand-crafted woodwork and oak paneling and three main coal-burning fireplaces. Eisenbeis Castle’s turrets and towers are very European, giving it the look that Charles was wanting - a tribute to his home country, Prussia. The castle not only provided space for his large family, but it was also the biggest mansion in Port Townsend.
Kate remarried soon after Charles had died in 1902 and moved away from Port Townsend, leaving only a caretaker to watch over the castle. After 20 years, a Seattle lawyer bought Eisenbeis Castle hoping to turn it into a vacation destination for nuns who were teaching in the Seattle area schools. Likely because of cost and location, the idea was scrapped, and the castle was sold a couple of years later to The Society of Jesus as a place to teach their students who were studying to be priests. The Castle was renamed Manresa Hall by the Society to honor their founder, Saint Ignatius Loyola. In 1968, the castle was converted into a hotel and was renamed the Manresa Castle.
With so much rich history, it’s no surprise that the Castle might have more than a few “permanent” residents…