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“Glensheen Mansion” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate

Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate
3300 London Road, Duluth, MN 55804
+1 218-726-8910
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Ranked #9 of 86 Attractions in Duluth
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: Finished in 1908, this Lake Superior 39-room mansion enjoys a rare, intact collection of original furnishings and art. Because of that, it closely resembles the days when the Congdon family first occupied it. Truly, it is Duluth's answer to Downton Abbey. Situated on a wooded lot, the home boasts spectacular views of Lake Superior, as well as, multiple gardens including formal, flower and vegetable. Guests are also encouraged to explore the carriage house, boat house, stone bridge and pier. Children enjoy the pebbled beach for hours of rock skipping while parents take in a sit on one of Adirondack chairs. Be sure to check out Glensheen as part of your must-do Duluth bucket list.
Eau Claire, WI
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
“Glensheen Mansion”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2008

Before our trip to Duluth, we did plenty of research. We are residents of West Central Wisconsin and I personally love the Duluth/Superior area. One of the places we found was Glensheen Mansion. I am a huge fan of old homes, and obviously this one has some intriguing history behind it. (The Congdon Murders.)

I just have to say, the complaints about the price are pathetic. It was $24 per person to view the entire mansion and grounds and I would be willing to pay that price again for a second tour. The tour guides are extremely helpful and knowledgable. Granted, they don't know the answer to everything, but they will tell you that right away. They are also incredibly hospitable. The grounds and the mansion are kept up very well. I think this is one thing people forget about when they are paying the tour fees, this is a HIUGE mansion on over 7 acres that the college has to pay for. All upkeep, heating, etc. There are some areas throughout the mansion that desperately need some repairs, but that does not take away from the overall grandeur by any means.

Almost all of the antiques in the home are original, including Rookwood tile, the kitchen table in the dining area, Chester's library has all the original books including some first editions, the original dining area IS a replica but only because they still use the dining room for dinners and obviously do not want people trampling all over a century's old, sensitive rug. The china in the cabinets are all original, and the bedrooms have almost all original antiques. There were some changes to the home by the last owner, Elisabeth Congdon, to keep the home up with the times and styles, but only very minor ones.

My biggest complaint about the tour would be that the tour is only about an hour long, I would suggest trying to stretch it out as long as you can by asking a lot of questions. You cannot go back through once your tour guide leaves you and you cannot take inside photos. As a photography lover, it was incredibly depressing not to be able to take photos and to not be able to take my time. My suggestion to the college, would be to staff each room with a student and then allow guests to roam at their will after the tour is over and take photos. Maybe not allow photos on the tour, but for a little extra and a different colored tag, allow those who would like photographs to go back through. I would have been willing to pay a little additional.

This home is a MUST-SEE for any Duluth trip. Do NOT miss out, because this is a culture and history rich tour that I will be repeating on my next trip to the Duluth area.

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337 reviews from our community

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Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Amazing property!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2008

This was the first time I had ever heard of the Cogden Estate. It was so amazing! I can't even imagine living there, it is so beautiful. The history behind this property and the people who lived there is something you want to hear and see. I won't tell you anything so that you go and see it! It was worth every penny!

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elk River, MN
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“My favorite place in Duluth, MN”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2007

This is the most beautiful home !!! If I had lived there, I wouldn't have left there even to go to the grocery!.. It is very progressive for its time in the way it was built (ie: to withstand earthquakes) and the furnishings are so lovely. It is decorated for Christmas and can be used for receptions. The grounds are exceptional; it must have been an experience every day to awaken and look out at the seasons, the lake. Can you tell I wish I had been born in that era? I hope it will always remain open to the public, and that the University takes good care of it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“My favorite place in Duluth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2007

Glensheen offers a glimpse into the world of the privileged in the early 1900's. The estate is beautiful living history lesson, from the original furniture and portraits of previous inhabitants to the immaculate grounds and gardens. One can actually close their eyes and imagine what it must have been like to live on the lake in such a sumptious dwelling.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northfield, Minnesota
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Pricey yes, but a must-see at least once”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2007

The Glensheen Mansion is something you must see at least once. So beautiful, and the owners/builders were so forward thinking in their planning. The home contains most of the original furnishings and decor. The grounds are breathtaking. If you aren't a fan of history or older houses you might not enjoy it, but we sure did.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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