Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Glensheen Mansion, the Congdon Estate: Duluth, Minnesota

"Glensheen: the Historic Congdon Estate"
University of Minnesota Duluth

"A hallmark of extraordinary design. A businessman’s enduring legacy. A showcase of diverse interior styles. But at its very heart, a family home. Welcome to Glensheen, the historic Congdon estate. Along the shore of Lake Superior, a 7.6-acre expanse of wooded land enfolds the 39-room Jacobean Revival mansion that is Minnesota’s premier historic house museum. The interiors of the mansion have endured, boasting nearly all of the same furnishings and dĂ©cor that graced the rooms when estate was completed in 1908...."

The University of Minnesota Duluth's website gives a decent introduction to the Glensheen mansion, along with information you'll need if you plan to visit the place. Which the Lemming recommends, by the way: I've been there, on one of their guided tours, and was impressed by the house and its history.

The U. of M. Duluth also points out that their Glensheen mansion and site hosts private parties, corporate events and weddings.

Glensheen Estate, Duluth MN, August 15, 2006, by steffofsd, Flickr
(from steffofsd, Flickr, used w/o permission)
Glensheen Estate, Duluth MN, August 15, 2006. Photo by steffofsd/Stephanie, on Flickr)
"History of Glensheen Mansion, Chester Congdon, and the Murder of Elisabeth Congdon"
Curtis Carper, Associated Content (September 20, 2007)

"At the start of his professional career Mr. Chester Adgate Congdon was a school teacher in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin. In 1892 Chester and his family moved to Duluth Minnesota, entering a law practice in partnership with William Billson...."

The style is a trifle on the dry side: but this piece is a fairly short read - split into two pages - and does a good job of telling the basics of the Congdon/Glensheen story. And yes: there was a murder at the mansion, of the youngest of Congdon's daughters.

Neither of these resources mentions one of the features of Glensheen that impressed me. Duluth winters are not particularly mild, and the Congdons had children. C. A. Congdon had a sort of enclosed gallery built on a lower level of the house, running the length of the south side. Its purpose was to provide a space where the kids could play - and run - during winter months without freezing.

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