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Glensheen mansion offers new festive holiday tour

Dorothy Crawford was a houseguest at the Glensheen mansion in the winter of 1912. One hundred years later, her letter home to her family is the inspiration for a new holiday tour offered by the mansion. (Courtesy of the Glensheen mansion)1 / 2
Glensheen is all decorated in for the holiday season. (Courtesy of the Glensheen mansion2 / 2

The Glensheen mansion is getting into the holiday spirit by offering a new self-guided tour. The tour is based on the story of houseguest Dorothy Crawford, a young woman who stayed at the mansion for a month in the winter of 1912.

"Here's a special opportunity for families to be enveloped in the Christmas spirit with a beautiful and historic Duluth twist," said Glensheen's interim director Dan Hartman.

This self-guided experience will feature period-costumed staff stationed around the home as guests freely explore the holiday décor. Highlights of the tour include more than 15 decorated trees, more than 500 feet of garland and a taste of holiday shortbread made from Clara Congdon's recipe.

Crawford chronicled her stay in a letter home, which her family shared with the estate. She attended Vassar College with Helen Congdon and enjoyed her visit to Duluth immensely. The pair had a quintessential Northland experience including tobogganing, ice skating, dances and a bonspiel (curling tournament).

Tour-goers will see where Crawford stayed and the historic winter items in the mansion at that time.

This story will unfold in the opulently decorated setting of the Glensheen mansion. The public is reminded to bring cameras, as a special photo area will be set up for those wishing to capture holiday memories.

"We're hoping that because it's a self-guided event, more families will come out and show their children Glensheen in its holiday finery," said marketing director Lucie Amundsen.

Holiday tours began Nov. 30 and run through Jan. 5. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Children 12 and under will be admitted free with a paid adult at $10 a ticket.

This new tour is partially sponsored by HFCU Credit Union, East Duluth Branch.