Discovering the historic secrets of Glensheen

Photo by Morgan Pint

Photo by Morgan Pint

The Secrets of Glensheen was a presentation on Wednesday Nov. 6 of hidden or secret objects found on the grounds of the estate and was held in the amusement room.

This event is one that has been held at Glensheen before and will continue to be held every Wednesday night in November from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A lot of the pieces shown at the night’s event were one’s that helped capture Duluth’s history, such as Zenith city hardware tools.

Photo of Ojibway by Morgan Pint

Photo of Ojibway by Morgan Pint

The event was hosted by Glensheen’s collections manager Milissa Brooks Ojibway who is responsible for the proper care and preservation of the objects in the mansion.

“This event shows you the bits and pieces you wouldn’t normally see,” Ojibway said. “Many of the objects are hidden away in closets or drawers so this night allows visitors a chance to see them.”

The presentation included lesser known facts of the Congdon family, such as their relationships with other families and individuals of similar stature and prominence. The exhibit also included information about their grand European tour that took place in 1911.

Throughout the presentation, guests were allowed to ask questions about certain items or unknown facts.

A common question asked of Ojibway was why there are no cars from the Congdon family’s era on the grounds. Her answer: “Like today, you trade in a car.”

Ojibway explained that while the gardener still worked on the estate he had kept his car on the property, but that was an updated version from what the Congdon’s would have known.

When the university took ownership of the mansion in 2017 all that was left of the Congdon’s cars was the Arc rectifier, which was the charger for their electric car. This too was one of the secret objects presented.

A lot of the art found throughout the mansion reflects the age in which the Congdon family lived on the estate, such as the Sara Galner bowl from 1913, which represents the Saturday Evening Girls. The bowl reflects popular pottery from that time by featuring Asian figures and a matte finish.

Other objects presented represent the art history and culture of Duluth and Minnesota during the Congdon’s time such as the handicraft guild of Minnesota lamp located in the breakfast room overlooking the backyard and lake.

Glensheen has many hidden secrets waiting to be discovered. To find an event that interests you visit their events calendar.

CultureAddie Marzinske