The Historic Glensheen Mansion made history Wednesday as it became the first attraction in the Twin Ports to receive a Blue Star Museum designation, meaning it will be offering free tours to military members this summer.
The announcement was made at a news conference at the Congdon estate with members of the military present, a symbolic kickoff to free tours for active military personnel today through Labor Day.
The Blue Star Museum designation is made through a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts, American Association for State and Local History, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America.
“Given the Congdon’s record of service, having active duty service men and women as guests in their home is simply the right thing to do,” said Daniel Hartman, interim director of Glensheen.
Two of Chester and Clara Congdon’s sons, Walter and Edward, served in World War I. Elisabeth, their youngest daughter, organized and headed the Duluth’s chapter of the American Red Cross Nurse’s Aid Committee in World War II, rolling bandages and preparing care packages. The estate’s longest-serving and most recent head gardener, Bob Wyness, was deployed in World War II.