“If you can read this sign you should take a tour!” “#BolderNorth,” boasts the banners lining the fence surrounding The Glensheen Mansion.
Built in 1908, the 39-room mansion which sits on 12 acres of Lake Superior shoreline property is shrouded in history and lore. Chester and Clara Congdon and then their family lived in the mansion into the 70’s. It’s now operated by the University of Minnesota.
The first thing I wondered was how on earth the Congdons made all of that money. Fortunately, it’s one of the first questions the tour guide answers. Chester Congdon, a self-taught lawyer invested in mining, steel, orchards, and banks. He and his wife Clara met in college. Clara was also an accomplished painter and one of a few number of women in her graduating class, as it wasn’t typical for women to attend college at that time.