Duluth's Glensheen Estate attracts more visitors with new offerings

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Duluth's historic Glensheen mansion is attracting more visitors and offering new opportunities to experience the 39-room, 7-acre estate.

Starting Monday visitors can take self-guided tours and wander around the property, which was home to the Congdon family before it was turned over to the University of Minnesota. Selfies are welcome on the self-guided tour, the Star Tribune reports.

The 39-room home, built by the influential Congdon family and completed in 1908, has an infamous history that includes the grisly 1977 murders of heiress Elisabeth Congdon and her night nurse.

The number of visitors was declining for years, but last year the estate saw an increase in traffic by 23 percent, according to the Star Tribune.

The new tours and offerings aim to bring in more people. For example, on Wednesday nights in July free public concerts will be held on the grounds.

Glensheen also recently opened up a room that has been closed to the public for 36 years. It's the room of Robert Congdon, Clara and Chester Congdon's youngest son.

According to their website, a special team of experts from the Midwest Art Conservation Center helped restore original stenciling of "birds in flight" on the wall, which were covered in plaster.

On Saturday, every room in the mansion was opened for those attending an annual fundraiser which raises money to restore and maintain the mansion.

Glensheen's Jane Pederson told FOX 21:

“There's a never-ending story of Glensheen. There are new things that we're finding and just great stories to tell about the Congdon’s and the Gleensheen's great history and legacy that they've left.”

A new book is available Monday about Glensheen's early years. "Historic Glensheen 1905-1930: Photographs from the Congdon Estate's First 25 Years" by Duluth author Tony Dierckins takes readers into the home with than 100 photos.

The Pioneer Press reports some of the photos for the book were discovered just this past winter when staff went through closets and drawers to find them.

During the summer, the estate is open for tours from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily, and the gift shop is open from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available online.

The Glensheen Mansion can also be seen in an upcoming movie project starring Clint Eastwood's daughter, which was filmed on the property earlier this spring.

Glensheen also has a lake cam that gives a live stream view of the pier overlooking Lake Superior.

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