In and Around Duluth, Minn.
There were more millionaires in Duluth Minnesota at the turn of the century than any other city in the world per capita. Grain, mining and lumber barons, real estate brokers, lawyers, clothiers, bankers and more built their mansions to show off their wealth and possessions.
The most famous landmark in Duluth Minnesota is the Aerial Lift Bridge which was originally built in 1905 and upgraded in 1929 to today’s design. It takes about two minutes to rise and goes up 25 to 30 times daily during the height of the shipping season. Spending time on the pier, you can see everything from sailboats to 1,000 foot freighters pass underneath. Duluth’s waterfront shopping district known as Canal Park features fine dining restaurants, antique stores, candy shops, old-fashioned horse and carriage rides and the Lake Superior Maritime Museum to explore.
The historic Glensheen Mansion was the original home of Chester and Clara Congdon which was built between 1905 and 1908. The magnificent 39-room mansion offers original furnishings, artwork, family treasures and is located on the shores of Lake Superior. The 7.6 acre estate includes a museum shop, a carriage house, a boat house, formal gardens and meandering pathways to the mansion and is open year round for tours.
The Firelight Inn on Oregon Creek is the historic home of George G. Barnum, a Duluth Pioneer Grain man, Civil War veteran, long-distant relative of P.T. Barnum of the circus, and “Grand Old Man of the Duluth Board of Trade”. Philanthropist George G. Barnum hired architects to build him a mansion that would showcase his wealth and possessions in 1910. Situated in the historic East end Duluth neighborhood on a secluded dead end street, the traditional style 17-room mansion has wood-beamed ceilings, a glass-enclosed wrap around porch, and 8 original fireplaces. The historic mansion is now known as The Firelight Inn on Oregon Creek Bed and Breakfast and celebrates 100 years of history in 2010.
Travelers come to Duluth for hiking and biking along Lake Superior and up the North Shore. They enjoy sightseeing and dining cruises on Lake Superior, a scenic train ride, a drive through the city along the Skyline Parkway, the beach at Park Point and skipping rocks into the big lake as they venture up the North Shore during the summer months. Skiing at Spirit Mountain and snowmobiling on the North Shore Trail system are winter highlights. Special Duluth events bring thousands of people to Duluth each year to enjoy the world class Grandma’s Marathon, Blues Festival, FourthFest, Inline Skate Marathon, national snowmobile snowcross, Christmas City of the North Parade, and the holiday Bentleyville at Bayfront Festival Park.
By Jim and Joy Fischer, Owners/Innkeepers
The Firelight Inn on Oregon Creek Bed and Breakfast