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Minnesota Travel Tours: Glensheen Mansion - Duluth, Minnesota

Updated on September 6, 2016

Duluth, Minnesota

First let me tell you that my family is from Duluth. That said, let me tell you that I have never lived there.

How is that possible? My mother and father moved to Mankato, Minnesota in the early 1960s and mom was pregnant with me. So. There you have it.

I have been to Glensheen Mansion once. I was with a group of people. The admission was fairly reasonable, perhaps seven dollars. They showed us several floors.

I found the place to be very interesting. It was built around the turn of the century, around 1905. My grandfather was the same age I was the year it was built when I managed to see it. He was 40 when he saw it. I was 40 when I toured it. [I just like facts like that...]

The Glensheen Mansion was owned by the Congdon Family, but now is owned and operated by the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

It was the setting for the 1970s movie "You'll Like My Mother" starring Richard Thomas.

When you tour the mansion, you will find that everything is original. It is the same wallpaper placed in there over 100 years ago. The woodwork is incredible. If you walk into a room, the woodwork matches, right down to the door. Open the door to the next room, and the same door, on the other side, matches the wood in the next room.

There is a shower with 9 shower heads upstairs. [I want that shower!!!]

They had electricity before anyone else.

They had art commissioned by artists all over the world. They had tile built by artists.

My great grandma always wondered why such a rich family would take the ribbons and wrapping paper from the presents received and rewrap new presents with the wrapping. Apparently, this is how a rich family stayed rich in those days, no doubt!

Places to stay and other options for sightseeing....

The last few times we have stayed overnight in Duluth, we stayed at the following places: Comfort Inn in West Duluth, The Chalet on London Road, The Radisson.

The Comfort Inn is just off of 35W just after the exit to Superior, Wisconsin. When we stayed there, it was clean and fairly inexpensive. The Chalet is on London Road and is just a place to sleep, meaning no special frills. It is what you need to sleep: a bed, a television, a shower. If you want all the comfies, just across the road is the Edgewater, which has pools, patios, a view of Lake Superior, game room,etc., but you will pay for these amenities. The Radisson has a revolving restaurant on the top. You sit to eat and by the time you’ve finished your meal, you’ve rotated a full 360 degrees and had a nice view of Duluth the entire time.

Places to see in Duluth are the Duluth Zoo, the Aquarium, The Irvin, The Depot, Fitgers Brewery, Leif Eriksen Park, Lake Superior, Canal Park, Canal Park Museum.

When you arrive from the south, the view from the top of the hill is amazing. The Aerial Bridge is the first landmark that you will notice on the edge of Lake Superior.The city is draped over the side of the hill and runs along the lake.

There is a high water mark on the road to the rest area. It is incredible to imagine that the water covered the road that is currently there. Lake Superior is a massive lake now, but apparently, according to that high water mark, is a mere puddle compared to its majesty of umpteen years ago.




Glensheen Mansion - Duluth, Minnesota

A marker3300 London Road,Duluth, mn -
3300 London Road,Duluth, mn
get directions

4719 Pitt Street - Lakeside - Duluth

My grandma's house.
My grandma's house. | Source

Fitger's Brewery - Pickwick

Great food and beer!
Great food and beer! | Source

Cobblestone Streets

Downtown Duluth
Downtown Duluth | Source

Down by Canal Park


Turn of Century Houses

My mother took piano lessons here.
My mother took piano lessons here. | Source

Glensheen Mansion on London Road

My aunt lived a few blocks from here on East Superior Street.
My aunt lived a few blocks from here on East Superior Street. | Source

My History and Involvement With Duluth

I have included a few pictures of places I have been. My grandma's house on Pitt Street. I have eaten a burger at the Fitger's Brewery and Tap. It was delicious and the beer was cold. When I was a child, my father would take a trip down to the Aerial Bridge and we'd look at the sights. As a small child, I was more concerned with falling through the drain grates in the bridge than in looking at the scenery, but I was much shorter then.

Now, it is interesting to visit the bridge, see the museum, watch the boats come into the canal and to see the millions of seagulls swirl about as they beg for morsels of food from people walking about.

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      Pete Schultz 5 years ago

      Duluth is a great place to visit, you mentioned most all of the great things to I'll mention a great thing to eat....go to the Pickwick and order the pepper cheeseburger with onion rings and wash it down with an urquell, a Czech pilsner that goes perfect with the burger. Great visit to Glensheen, thanks for sharing.

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I've been to Glensheen mansion (several years ago) and it's just as amazing as you say it is. This lens makes me want to go back! Luckily, I don't live too far away.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi, great lens. Glensheen is amazing. I lived in Duluth for many years - It is like living by an ocean. I built the gazebo on the cliff at Enger Park.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Glensheen is beautiful, I especially enjoy the gardens. The roof to the mansion was recently redone, so UMD is maintaining it well. Other places to visit in Duluth include the zoo, the harbor cruises, train excursions up the north shore or west Duluth. The JJ Astor restaurant on the 16th floor of the Radisson, actually revolves 360 degrees every hour for a wonderful view of the harbor and city. You mention the Depot Museum and I just have to tell you that the Melheim Room there features an exhibit of hand carved furniture that I used to sit on as a child as the Melheims were dear friends of our family. You would also love Enger Park which sits over the city just off Skyline Boulevard and for an even more majestic view can climb up Enger Tower, which was recently renovated. You just got a lot of memories flowing for me.

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      dessertlover 6 years ago

      Ah!! This is so cool, I've wanted to tour there but haven't yet. Being a minnesotan, I feel like I should have seen it already :)