Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Houses of different kinds


During the past couple of days we’ve visited a few houses over here in Wisconsin and Minnesota, each one different, but each housing families in the early 1900s.

Our first house tour was in Superior Wisconsin, where we visited Fairlawn, a mansion built in 1891…

Fairlawn mansion.

…the family only lived in the house a few years when Mr.Pattison died unexpectedly. His wife moved the family to California and the house became a children’s home for several decades.

Lots of drapery and carved wood.

Inside the first floor has been restored to look as it did when the family lived there, while the top floors describe what life was like when it housed dozens of children.

We also toured Glensheen, a mansion in Duluth Minnesota.

The grand front of Glensheen.

This one was completed in 1908, and was lived in by an original family member until 1977 when the last daughter died.

The dining room.

With 20,000 square feet, fifteen fireplaces, numerous bathrooms and bedrooms, it’s huge and beautiful.

Lots of carved wood in this house too.

Each of the seven children had their own bedrooms, often with their own bathrooms too.

One of the girl’s rooms.

Most of the rooms had lovely views of Lake Superior. Still, the house was a lot darker inside than what we’re used to today.

Drying linens in the laundry room.

The grounds were beautifully landscaped, complete with a huge vegetable garden, tennis courts and lawn bowling.

The back of the house was more stunning than the front.

Next we headed north, tunneling our way through a couple rocky outcroppings.

Tunneling our way north.

We stopped in Two Harbors Minnesota where we walked the breakwater enjoying a beautiful later summer afternoon.

Such a beautiful day to be near the water.

In the same park was a lighthouse that has become a Bed & Breakfast. It looked wonderful, though it’s privately owned and we couldn’t go inside.

Seems like a perfect spot to relax on the shores of Lake Superior.

Guess we’ll have to make a reservation and stay overnight to see what it’s like to sleep in a lighthouse!

Then we moved on to something that’s been on my bucket list for a long time — Split Rock lighthouse.

We took the tour and learned a whole lot about what life was like when this lighthouse employed three keepers. Then we started to explore.

Stairs ascending the tower.

Up in the relatively short tower there is a truly beautiful lens.

The lens rotates and sending out a bright white light every 10 seconds.

This lighthouse sits high on a cliff; I’ve seen pictures that made me want to see it for myself.

I couldn’t keep myself from giggling with joy when I rounded the corner and saw this jewel of a lighthouse shining in the sunlight.

But nothing could have prepared me for just how beautiful it really is, as seen from the stony beach far below it’s base. I couldn’t stop smiling. It’s just stunning, definitely my smile of the week, and a perfect way to end our exploration of the Duluth area.

We’ll be moving even further north, into Canada, tomorrow. I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again…but you can be sure I’ll have more images and adventures to share when I do!

Me and the lighthouse.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

30 thoughts on “Houses of different kinds

  1. wow- such an interesting post – and I cannot imagine living in 20,000 square FEET – and you are right about things being darker with interior back then – our local museum has an “interior” of Rockefeller’s bedroom (about half is original) and it is so dark!
    also liked learning how they dried linen back then (whew – glad to have driers)


  2. 15 fireplaces… I hope it helps with the heating bill, for I’m sure keeping a 20K sf house warm on the shores of Superior would cost a pretty penny 😉


  3. Gorgeous photos of an extraordinary house. The attention to detail in that dwelling is amazing, as is the color of blue in that water. So pretty.


  4. We toured a couple of huge old mansions when my husband and I traveled a bit. Those that stick in my mind are Mark Twain’s home in Hartford, CT, and the Dunsmuir mansion in Victoria, BC. I cannot imagine living in such dark, huge places. Space is good, but too much space is just overwhelming and dividing, to my way of thinking.


  5. Wow, you’re visiting some very interesting places on the road less traveled. Hope you enjoy Canada!


  6. These families must have had lots of servants! I’d hate to have to clean that many bathrooms, ha! And that’s exactly the kind of staircase I don’t like going up … or down. Those gaping spaces where you can see all the way down make me nervous. Enjoy your travels … safely!


  7. Thank you for sharing your trip photos, Dawn! I hope you have many more wonderful places to visit on your itinerary! I hope your hand is healing well! Safe travels! 😊


  8. Such a wonderful variety of homes to visit. My husband and I also love to visit historic homes. We are often amazed at the size and the opulence, or the lack of indoor plumbing in some cases! Hope your hand is healing


  9. Beautiful travels, Dawn. Glad you’re making the trip. Thanks for sharing it.


  10. Great pictures and beautiful weather. You are always on the go have fun.


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  12. Pingback: Ashland Wisconsin and Duluth Minnesota | Change Is Hard

  13. Great stuff. Ashland looks fun. What a great trip.


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