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“LOVED the Glensheen Mansion experience!”

Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate
Ranked #6 of 94 things to do in Duluth
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“LOVED the Glensheen Mansion experience!”
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Have never paid this much for two of us to tour anything, but opted for the extended tour as we didn't want to miss anything! VERY glad we did! As we waited for our tour guide, I visited the porta potty outside! When you pay $50 to tour, I was surprised there were no public restrooms! The tour was wonderful! You can take photographs now of everything but one room, and we assumed that was where the murder took place, however they don't talk about that. Beautiful does not do it justice! They were very futuristic as they built this mansion, as the men had showers with up to 17 shower heads if I remember right! In those days they felt women were too delicate to be pelted with water!!! The sitz bath for women was something to see! They said the women sat in this porcelain 'thing' with there feet hanging over the edge! The guide said that they only washed the 'important parts' from their shoulders to their knees! They also had flushing toilets and electricity which was very unusual in the early 1900's. These type of facts made the tour very interesting. Since we had the deluxe tour, we got to go in the basement which was really interesting! The laundry area was very impressive! The linen closet room had glass doors over the shelves and each was numbered with to match the linens with the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. We also walked around outside and the grounds were beautiful. Flowers in bloom everywhere and the tiered vegetable garden was very impressive and doing very well--about every kind of vegetable you can imagine as well as pumpkins and squash. The Congdons grew all their own produce and now they donate it to a local food bank. There wasn't a weed in that garden anywhere! Could go on and on, but definitely recommend this. You do have to climb stairs and walk at inclines, which was a bit of a challenge for some in our tour group. Even though they do not talk about the murders, you can purchase some good books in the gift shop. Take this tour! It is well worth the couple hours you'll spend!

Visited September 2013
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1 Thank gmasheri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Nj
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Interesting but not worth the money”
Reviewed September 30, 2013

We were looking forward to seeing this estate and learning of the history. We took the "extended" tour so we could take photos. The guide was just "ok". Not particularly interesting or enthusiastic. The tour went through the normal routine of "this room", and "that room". No mention ever of the "ghosts".

The grounds were beautiful and well maintained. The views of Lake Superior were quite nice.

Probably worth a visit if you have the time but IMO nothing so special worth going out of your way.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank NJWorldTraveler3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, SD
Level 6 Contributor
12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Behind Mansion Walls . . . In Duluth, Mn”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

My wife and I have just having a great night's sleep in our first night at the Comfort Suites Hotel on Canal Park Dr. and now it would be our first day to leave our room and go see a few things and take pictures. My wife had seen an advertisement in a magazine in the hotel room about the Glensheen Mansion out on 3300 London Road. Drive east on Superior St. until London Road. At the signal light turn right and continue straight on London Road until you come to 3300 London Road which is on the right side of the street.
Anyway, there is a large area for self parking and a clearly marked ticket office where you purchase the tickets. My wife paid our $25.00 apiece for the tickets and proceeded to the stable building where the tour begins and you are escorted up to the house. The outside portable potty is the last chance there for restroom until the end of the tour in the basement of the mansion. The escort through the house talks throughout the tour as you are taken throughout the house. It is a guided tour and you must stay with the tour! A word of caution, NO CAMERA FLASH, NO LEANING AGAINST FURNITURE OR WALLS, NO STEPPING ON THE CARPETS, NO TOUCHING ANYTHING. The tour is interesting and it is amazing how someone can afford a house in 1908 with a cost of over $800,000 then, which is worth over $30,000,000 in today's dollars, but then be afforded "no" rest room (in the basement only) until the end of a hour long walking, talking tour. Why I say amazing there is gold ceilings, walls, gold furniture & decorations imported from all over the world and they don't have the necessities that go with most attractions where admission is paid.
Furthermore there are 5 or 10 gallon jugs throughout the house to put your donations into.
Well, with all the money that house and grounds represent and the $50 admission to walk through a house - it is kind of a slap in the face to me to see donation jugs in a house worth that much money. Another rule -- don't attempt to engage the tour guide in a conversation regarding the Glensheen murders. They are not allowed to talk about it - at all.
On a positive note - they do allow photography without flash and will set your digital camera for you so that it does not flash. There is still plenty of light throughout the house for great pictures with no flash. Better than that, the outside mansion patios, grounds, gardens, creeks, and buildings are very beautiful and this makes for a very interesting and photogenic experience. I'll share all my great photos now accompanied with very brief descriptions attached.
It is my understanding that the mansion was donated to the University of Minnesota and the Congdon family remaining alive have an even bigger estate out somewhere on the West Coast Oregon or Washington. Considering the $25.00 admission charge I think it is in extremely bad taste to have the donation jugs throughout the house. Better yet, charge "less" admission. I have no problems with paid admissions for public attractions. however. it is a little bit of a conflict of terms with the display of all this "wealth and excess" and then ask for donations during the viewing of the same.
Actually, I had much more fun walking through the wealthy downtown stores, shops, & restaurants in the streets of downtown Minneapolis. There I could freely use the flash on my camera for my picture taking as well.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Dennis L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
252 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Nice mansion”
Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

Smaller by size but comparable with the Biltmore house near Ashville, NC by date of construction and modernity (inter phone, elevator...). Plus a murder history as a bonus.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Maravalj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseville, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing house!”
Reviewed September 26, 2013

Glensheen was much more than I thought it would be. It has amazing decor and history. The technology was amazing for the time. They allow photography now, too!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Betsy124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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