It’s been called a “mystery mansion” and the “castle on the prairies.”
It has an indoor pool and massive garage, each bigger than many homes in Saskatoon and Regina, and it was valued at nearly $2.6 million.
And it sold for $550,000 at auction.
The 11,929 square foot unfinished mansion sitting off Highway 3 between Prince Albert and Melfort was put up at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers on Thursday, drawing a lot of interest from farmers who normally attend to bid on equipment for the next harvest.
However, the interest was mostly regarding what would happen to the property near Weldon, Sask.
After a seemingly joking bid of $200,000 from a man in the building, two online bidders — one from Saskatchewan and another from British Columbia — entered into a battle for the mansion.
The B.C. buyer won with an entry of $550,000.
“It was above our expectations,” said Luke Fritshaw, regional sales manager for Ritchie Bros.
“Both us and the seller are very happy.”
He noted while the property has been valued at $2.6 million, the fact the mystery mansion has been sitting unfinished for several years had heavily impacted expectations for the auction.
“Like any property, it’s built with unprotected wood, exposed to the elements of Saskatchewan,” he said.
“There’s a lot of work and a lot of money that still needs to be spent on that house.”
He added it would likely take millions of dollars to complete the massive home, which has space cut out for a sauna, safe room, and other luxury options.
Not much is known about the origins of the home; why it was built, or why it was abandoned.
Ritchie Bros. was approached by the Doyle family, who confirmed they had inherited rightful ownership of the property and said they wanted it sold.
Beyond that, no questions were asked.
Fritshaw said he’s visited the property personally, and while he noticed a lot of damage from it being left unprotected, he was amazed.
“The construction they put into it, the groundwork they put into it, the way it was built is very impressive,” he said.
“They didn’t spare any expense when they were building it.”
He added it’s very rare for a property of this type to make it to the auction block.
“It’s probably going to be a lifetime before that ever comes up again.”