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Glensheen & the Congdon Legacy

Minnesota’s most-visited house museum, Glensheen, is much more than its beautiful landscaping, rich design, and historic status. It’s a tribute to a family that put down deep roots in northern Minnesota, whose good works live on more than a century after their “home place” was built. This new WDSE documentary reveals the legacy left by the Congdon family and their gracious mansion. Glensheen is a true Minnesota original, preserved intact for future generations. It is a story of hard work, fortunate timing and a life-long pursuit of knowledge. Join us to learn more about the family who lived at Glensheen, the staff who served them and the legacy of this historic estate and the Congdon family.


Watch the Full Documentary


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Historical Photos from the Documentary

Stone Bridge 1915

Stone Bridge 1915

The stone bridge over Tischer Creek connected trails built on both sides of the creek for Chester Congdon. Congdon hired landscape architect Charles Leavitt to design Glensheen’s grounds. The bridge design was replicated for future bridges constructed on 7 Bridges Road and the Lester River. Click photo to see larger version.

West Main Gate 1908

West Main Gate 1908

Chester and Clara Congdon were among the first to construct their home along London Road and on the shore of Lake Superior. Prior to Glensheen’s construction, most wealthy Duluthians lived in the east hillside neighborhoods. Click photo to see larger version.

Fountain & Terraces

Fountain and Terraces

Glensheen’s grounds were designed like an English country estate. The reflecting pool on the lake side of the mansion features a stone fountain carved by Duluth master stone carver George Thrana, and was installed in 1913. Click photo to see larger version.


Lesson Plans for Teachers

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment