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A Place Called: Glensheen Mansion | Duluth Pack

A Place Called Glensheen Mansion

Northern Minnesota is known for stunning natural beauty and scenic landscapes.  But did you know it is also home to one of the most amazing historic mansions in Minnesota? A popular tourist attraction, the beautiful Glensheen Mansion is nestled right on the shores of Lake Superior. This mansion is a blast from the past and features elegant 20th-century design.

The Glensheen Mansion is an architectural marvel of its time and today. Construction began in 1905 and lasted just over three years.  The Congdon family worked closely with well-known Minnesota architect Clarence H. Johnston and landscape architect Charles W. Leavitt (Glensheen.org) to transform the lot into a place of wonder. The property, surrounded by 22 acres of land, consists of the mansion itself, a pier, a boathouse, a carriage house, and a gardener's house. Also on the property are various gardens, bridges, and paths.

Upon entering the mansion, one is immediately entranced with the main floors' grand interior design and antique décor. The completely green-tiled Breakfast Room is one of the most eye-catching rooms in the home. Modeled after the "Japanese-inspired Jin Di Sugi wood technique," this room is stunning (Glensheen.org). Another attention-grabbing piece of the first floor is the enormous master staircase that slowly climbs up to the second floor.

The second floor consists of many family bedrooms. Each bedroom is authentically decorated with its original furniture, displaying the mansion's exact look from the 1900s. All of the rooms upstairs also offer a scenic view of the lake. While touring through the home, one can only imagine what life was like for this exclusive family.

This historic mansion was once home to Chester and Clara Congdon and their children. The Congdon family secured their immense wealth by pioneering the development of iron mining. Aside from his U.S. Steal investments, Charles was also the U.S. Attorney of Minnesota (GoDuluthMn). The family lived lavishly in the home for a handful of years.

A fun fact, Chester Congdon and Duluth Pack's founder, Camille Poirier knew one another as both were progressive businessmen in the city of Duluth at that time.

After Charles passed, his wife Clara continued to live in the mansion and was looked after by her children. Despite a few travesties, the family remains influential in the Glensheen Mansions' current happenings. 

The family decided to donate the home to the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1979. Today, the Glensheen Mansion still stands strong and tall. UMD offers many great tours and events that showcase the beauty of the estate and surrounding area. The Glensheen Mansion remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Duluth and Minnesota. Multiple weddings, meetings, parties, and showers are also held at the Glensheen Mansion each year.

You can learn more about Glensheen Mansion at Glensheen.org!

Happy adventuring, friends!

All photos were downloaded from the Glensheen Mansion website