Glensheen Historic Estate

Completed in 1908, the Glensheen Historic Estate in Duluth, Minnesota, is a 39 room mansion and museum, located on Lake Superior and operated by the University of Minnesota. The mansion served as the Chester Congdon family home and was designed by local architect Clarence H. Johnston Sr. in the Jacobean and Beaux-Arts architectural styles.

The interiors were designed by the William A. French Co. in the Late Victorian style, with rooms trimmed or paneled in either walnut, mahogany, cypress, oak, or birch with furniture to match, made of the same wood used in the woodwork of any given room. In addition to the main house, the estate also has its own Carriage House, Gardener’s Cottage, and Boathouse. Additionally, there is a formal terraced garden and English-style landscaping.

Aside from its architectural significance, Glensheen is also noteworthy for the murders of Elisabeth Congdon and her nurse in 1977. Out of respect for the surviving Congdon family members, though, tour guides will not speak about the incident; however, a book about the murders is for sale in the gift shop. In 2015, a musical based on the murders, titled Glensheen, was created by Jeffrey Hatcher and Chan Poling.

  • Visited: 1979 & 2015
  • National Register of Historic Places: 1991

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