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“Something Different To Do”

Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate
Ranked #7 of 94 things to do in Duluth
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
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.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
33 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Something Different To Do”
Reviewed June 17, 2013

As stated in below reviews the tour guides won’t divulge much information on the murders as the mansion was donated to the University of Minnesota and they walk a fine line of protecting the family legacy while trying to promote tours.

Try to brush up on the history before you take the tour. I dusted off my book ‘Secrets of the Congdon Mansion’ by Joe Kimballs and read it during our drive from Minneapolis to Duluth giving highlights to my husband – I had his complete attention the whole drive. It is a short read – 2 to 3 hours from start to finish. The gift shop is open to the public (not just those taking the tour) so you can purchase one of their books beforehand any time while visiting Duluth. The tour will be more interesting if you read the history beforehand.

We did not purchase our tickets in advance. However, the people behind us had to wait for the next tour.

We opted for the standard tour which we felt was more than adequate. Perhaps we had a slower guide but it lasted almost 2 hours. Sometimes it felt a little cramped with 15 people in a small room. Not a lot of places to sit or lean against so wear comfy shoes. You cannot take photos once inside the mansion. Restrooms are port-a-potties.

We are not “tour” people and thought it may be a little boring without the murder and mystery narrative but were pleasantly surprised how interesting it was.

Visited June 2013
3 Thank mngolfergal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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855 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Washington, DC
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013

The Estate and its buildings are certainly historical and sizable, but it's not the cheapest thing to do whilst in Duluth. Kids will get bored easily.

Visited July 2012
Thank Travis B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013

Just an interesting mansion to see up on the shores of Lake Superior. The U of M is doing the tours now and it was hard because we were in one room and another tour was in the next room. It was hard to hear our guide sometimes.

Visited June 2013
Thank FriendRochester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Stunning and interesting”
Reviewed June 12, 2013

We took the basic tour (main floor/basement and second floor). The guide was very informative and passionate about the subject. The home and its furnishings were lovely--and the guide helped explain them. I wish we'd had more time to spend exploring the grounds. The guide didn't introduce the subject of the murders, but answered a few questions when another visitor asked some questions. Wheelchair access is limited to the main floor and the basement of the house. There is an informational video for wheelchair guests to watch instead of touring the second floor.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Carina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duluth, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“A must for history buffs!”
Reviewed June 12, 2013

My daughter and I visited Glensheen recently. I love historical places, but she loved it too for the "old fashioned" and "fancy" things inside. :) It's fun to think about the family that lived here, intriguing to think about the murder and astonishing to think of the work that still goes in to the maintenance and grounds/flowers. Apparently, the guides are not supposed to talk about the murders but, depending on who you get, they can be encouraged if that's your thing.

Visited July 2012
Thank Bergmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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