I guess I’ve always been somewhat of an old soul. Or maybe it’s more that I feel like I was born at the wrong time. From the time I was a little girl, I was fascinated with all things old and antique. I loved to play dress up, and would spend hours pretending I lived in the “olden days” of, say, Laura Ingalls Wilder. So much so that one year for my birthday my mom bought me a candle making kit so that I could dip my own beeswax candles and she sewed me an old-fashioned sunbonnet, bless her heart! I could (and do!) spend hours perusing antique shops on the hunt for worn and weathered goodies. I used to stay up late on Sunday nights to catch TCM’s weekly silent movie, which aired at 11 p.m., presumably because no one else cared to tune in to Buster Keaton’s escapades!
Entering the Glensheen Mansion has the same magical effect on me as an adult that playing “olden days” did when I was a little girl. While wandering the halls of the 100-year-old home, I can easily imagine what it may have been like to have been a guest of the Congdon’s – enjoying a cup of coffee in the breakfast room or reading a book in Helen’s cozy bedroom (my favorite room!) on a rainy afternoon.
Glensheen has a way of making the past come alive. And while taking a tour is wonderful – the perfect way to spend an afternoon – attending the annual Glensheen Gala is a rare opportunity to see the home from a different perspective. This year’s Secret Garden Party theme will give you access to parts of the home that are rarely open – enjoy the view of Tischer Creek from Clara’s Balcony, check out the vintage cars in the upper garage of the Carriage House, or wander through the third floor for a peek at the Congdon boys’ bedrooms. Not only will you get a unique tour of the home, but you will enjoy British Isles-inspired appetizers catered by a local favorite, Northern Waters Smokehaus, to satisfy both your savory side and your sweet tooth! A couple of secret bars will be hidden across the estate so you can enjoy a libation or two as you make your way through the formal gardens or take in the sounds of Lake Superior on the pier.
As Duluthians, we are lucky that we get to have this beautiful museum a part of our community. If you’re looking for a fun date night that’s out of the ordinary, you’re wanting an excuse to dress up and enjoy amazing food and drinks, or you like to pretend you live in a bygone era but still enjoy having access to your cell phone (like me!), then make sure you attend this year’s Gala for an treasured experience that will become an annual tradition. The Secret Garden Party Gala will be held at the Glensheen on August 18th and runs from 7 to 10 pm. Reserve your tickets here by searching “gala.”