Glensheen - The Historic Congdon Estate

Glensheen - The Historic Congdon Estate

Glensheen - The Historic Congdon Estate
4.5
Speciality MuseumsHistoric SitesHistory Museums
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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 a sit in one of Adirondack chairs. Be sure to check out Glensheen as part of your must-do Duluth bucket list.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • empty_nester4now
    Middleton, Wisconsin38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't Miss Touring this Amazing House
    Besides being blown away in every room we entered, we were amazed at the forward-thinking plans that went into all the designs. -showers built just like the Kohler multi spout of today, internal phone system with phones in most rooms, stained glass windows between dining rooms that allow staff to check but not be seen, internal milk room with a drain. Young adult area in the lower level!
    Visited June 2023
    Written 1 July 2023
  • Jenodini13
    Belleville, Wisconsin62 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Guided tour is a must
    We thoroughly enjoyed the guided tour throughout the estate. It goes over all the key highlights of the grounds, while learning more about life during that time period. You also have plenty of time for wandering the rest of the grounds at your leisure. Highly recommend going out on the balcony of the master bedroom, and hanging out on the beach near the shark
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 July 2023
  • Samantha V
    11 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible mansion
    We loved exploring the estate and I was thrilled that it was self-guided. We were able to explore at our own pace. The only thing I really didn’t like was that we couldn’t take videos. They cited concerns about minors being present but it still felt a little weird for that. They had fantastic exhibits. Knowledgeable workers who seemed to genuinely appreciate the history of the building. I could have explored for hours and hours and hours.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 July 2023
  • Redacted Name
    Metro Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota194 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Next time: Nooks & Crannies
    Mostly went to check out the grounds and sit near the water, but enjoyed the Classic Tour. The formal gardens were amazing & fragrant. Bravo to the gardeners, and the U of M, for keeping this National Registry home and property stunning.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 19 August 2023
  • Grover R
    Pensacola, Florida21,804 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Home in Duluth
    This is a beautiful home and grounds that has as interesting a story as about the house and family as its beauty. Duluth and northern Minnesota has an industrial history in mining and shipping for the steel industry. Chester Congdon was attorney and industrialist who played an important part in Duluth's iron and copper mining. With the wealth he accumulated, he did what some many others in the Gilded Age did build a palatial home on an amazing setting. The home was built between 1905-08 at cost of $850,000 ($27 million in today's dollars in a Jacobean tradition with a Beau-Arts modern style that was popular at the time. While the home is impressive, the grounds with acres upon acres of Lake Superior shoreline is the most impressive. You can see across the lake to Wisconsin as well as back to Duluth and the Aerial Drawbridge. Even if you don't want to pay to go in, I strongly encourage you to see the grounds. In addition to the shoreline on the lake the house is bordered by a creek on the west side that also creates a beautiful setting between the house and nearby cemetery. The house has that English countryside home look that is best viewed from the rear. While there is a long entrance drive that parallels the road, the house is not that far from the main highway 61 that hugs the Minnesota North Coast. Inside it has 39 rooms with space for everyone and everything over 4 stories (including the basement). One thing that hit me and probably anyone from the South is the low ceiling height. Everything here is built to retain heat. For me the most impressive spot is the staircase with rich wood carvings and great views to the lake. They will tell you the story of Congdon, attorney, mining executive and Minnesota state legislator, and his children. What they won't tell you the rest of the story. When Congdon and his wife died the youngest child lived in the house with much of the family money into the 1970s. While she never married, she did adopt a daughter. When you see the TV murder mystery about the rich old women who dies and killed by the daughter who gets the money and has it pinned on her husband who goes to prison, you will say yeah that could never happen. However, it did in this house in the 1970's. Upon the death, the house and grounds went to the University of Minnesota Duluth who runs it now. It is a treasure for the town that you ought to see if you have time. If you are headed out to see the natural wonders of Minnesota's North Coast, the house is on the way as you leave Duluth, very easy to reach.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 28 August 2023
  • Andshedid
    Conroe, Texas55 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see!
    Visiting this estate, seeing the grounds, lake view, gardens...much more than a typical mansion tour. The preservation is done with great care. And the family history is fascinating, even without discussion of the homicides that took place there!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 September 2023
  • Teacher91 ❤
    Temple, Texas46,614 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Unexpected Treat
    The Mr is currently working in Plymouth, so I came up for the weekend to visit. We decided to drive to Duluth so I could put my eyes on Lake Superior. While driving along the North Shore, I spotted a sign that read, ‘Take A Tour’. I adore house tours so you didn’t have to ask me twice. There were two tours, but we opted for the full house tour at $30 per person. We started by roaming the beautiful grounds. I’m a history nerd so I appreciated all the informational placards around the property. We encountered a mother goose with several babies near the water’s edge. I could tell she was nervous because her head was on a constant swivel and she hissed at the Mr. as he walked past. I gave her a wide respectful berth. After that, we toured all 3 floors of the mansion. We had just missed the last guided tour, which kind of bummed me out, but every room had great signage, so I think we got the full experience. Each room offered unique architectural details and I could go on and on but I’ll just post a few pics instead. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 June 2024
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,296 reviews
Excellent
861
Very good
329
Average
67
Poor
28
Terrible
11

kimberly
Carmel, IN10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Very beautiful home with gardens, gardeners cottage, barn and boat house. Self guided tours, but a lot of university students around that were happy to answer questions. Art deco and mission style furniture, decorations and fireplaces. The carving and details in the house are exceptional. Restoration going on in a lot of places, so it will only get better with time.
Written 13 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Teacher91 ❤
Temple, TX46,614 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
The Mr is currently working in Plymouth, so I came up for the weekend to visit.

We decided to drive to Duluth so I could put my eyes on Lake Superior.

While driving along the North Shore, I spotted a sign that read, ‘Take A Tour’. I adore house tours so you didn’t have to ask me twice.

There were two tours, but we opted for the full house tour at $30 per person.

We started by roaming the beautiful grounds. I’m a history nerd so I appreciated all the informational placards around the property. We encountered a mother goose with several babies near the water’s edge. I could tell she was nervous because her head was on a constant swivel and she hissed at the Mr. as he walked past. I gave her a wide respectful berth.

After that, we toured all 3 floors of the mansion. We had just missed the last guided tour, which kind of bummed me out, but every room had great signage, so I think we got the full experience.

Each room offered unique architectural details and I could go on and on but I’ll just post a few pics instead.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
Written 8 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Skuppy
Prior Lake, MN127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Visited for the Holiday Tour and it was beautiful! Love that they have the elf hunt for the kids. Kept them engaged. The Congdon family, beying the infamous murderess, is an interesting group!
Written 19 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Camper60183015744
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Got there soon after opening. We were told the "full-mansion tour was sold out for the day". The website states you can't reserve tickets. Driving for several hours to get there, then being refused access was disappointing. The tickets were ridiculously high for a 20 minute glimpse and forced to pay adult price for young teenagers even though the sign states youth is 6-17. We did enter with general admission, but you are refused access to half the home and property. We never say anyone enter or leave the upper floors. Do not advertise options and that you are open daily if you are going to refuse to sell tickets. Do not charge full-price for a 13 year old if youths are 6 to 17. Then, all the staff were just rude and unwelcoming like they do not have time for us. I will never donate to the UofMN Duluth or Glensheen. Don't open the property up to the public if it is a nuisance.
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gmag32
Iowa6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
My husband and I loved this mansion. It’s beautiful and very well maintained. The staff was very helpful answering questions. There were two different tours available, one not seeing the entire inside. The full tour is a must. So much to see. The grounds are stunning. Don’t miss any of the walk ways are there are places to sit, pretty views, nice little streams (3 I think). This tour is a must if you’re in the area or make a special trip. It’s worth it!
Written 30 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andshedid
Conroe, TX55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Visiting this estate, seeing the grounds, lake view, gardens...much more than a typical mansion tour. The preservation is done with great care. And the family history is fascinating, even without discussion of the homicides that took place there!
Written 16 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL21,804 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Solo
This is a beautiful home and grounds that has as interesting a story as about the house and family as its beauty. Duluth and northern Minnesota has an industrial history in mining and shipping for the steel industry. Chester Congdon was attorney and industrialist who played an important part in Duluth's iron and copper mining. With the wealth he accumulated, he did what some many others in the Gilded Age did build a palatial home on an amazing setting.

The home was built between 1905-08 at cost of $850,000 ($27 million in today's dollars in a Jacobean tradition with a Beau-Arts modern style that was popular at the time. While the home is impressive, the grounds with acres upon acres of Lake Superior shoreline is the most impressive. You can see across the lake to Wisconsin as well as back to Duluth and the Aerial Drawbridge. Even if you don't want to pay to go in, I strongly encourage you to see the grounds. In addition to the shoreline on the lake the house is bordered by a creek on the west side that also creates a beautiful setting between the house and nearby cemetery.

The house has that English countryside home look that is best viewed from the rear. While there is a long entrance drive that parallels the road, the house is not that far from the main highway 61 that hugs the Minnesota North Coast. Inside it has 39 rooms with space for everyone and everything over 4 stories (including the basement). One thing that hit me and probably anyone from the South is the low ceiling height. Everything here is built to retain heat. For me the most impressive spot is the staircase with rich wood carvings and great views to the lake.

They will tell you the story of Congdon, attorney, mining executive and Minnesota state legislator, and his children. What they won't tell you the rest of the story. When Congdon and his wife died the youngest child lived in the house with much of the family money into the 1970s. While she never married, she did adopt a daughter. When you see the TV murder mystery about the rich old women who dies and killed by the daughter who gets the money and has it pinned on her husband who goes to prison, you will say yeah that could never happen. However, it did in this house in the 1970's. Upon the death, the house and grounds went to the University of Minnesota Duluth who runs it now.

It is a treasure for the town that you ought to see if you have time. If you are headed out to see the natural wonders of Minnesota's North Coast, the house is on the way as you leave Duluth, very easy to reach.
Written 28 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Redacted Name
Metro Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN194 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Solo
Mostly went to check out the grounds and sit near the water, but enjoyed the Classic Tour. The formal gardens were amazing & fragrant. Bravo to the gardeners, and the U of M, for keeping this National Registry home and property stunning.
Written 20 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ryann Schockels
2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
I recommend the full tour. The classic only allows you 3 floors while the full gives you access to the upper floors (which was my favorite part). It’s just a bit expensive but I’ve seen worse.
Written 28 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Samantha V
11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Family
We loved exploring the estate and I was thrilled that it was self-guided. We were able to explore at our own pace. The only thing I really didn’t like was that we couldn’t take videos. They cited concerns about minors being present but it still felt a little weird for that.

They had fantastic exhibits. Knowledgeable workers who seemed to genuinely appreciate the history of the building. I could have explored for hours and hours and hours.
Written 26 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Glensheen - The Historic Congdon Estate (2024) All You MUST Know Before You Go (with Photos)

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