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.
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