On every page of Hidden Glensheen, you can click on any image to view it larger. You can share
any image via email, Facebook, etc. Just click and you will see the options at the top of the image!
Chester Congdon had an additional, separate bedroom installed for himself. He traveled a lot for work, both when he owned mines, and later when he was part of the Minnesota State Legislature. His thinking was that, when he got home late at night, he wouldn’t disturb Clara. As you can see here, his room could access the Master Bathroom (which we have already seen):
This is a detail from the privacy screen in the corner. I find it a curious piece to have in a married’s man ‘consideration room,’ but perhaps there’s more of a story that I wasn’t able to uncover.
This is just weird, and kind of fun. On the seat of the rocking chair at the foot of the bed is a faded fabric cover. In the few places not exposed to the sun, there are still a few details showing, like this man and his goat. Is the man on the ground feeding the goat or being trampled by it? And how does this fabric get selected to cover a chair??
There’s a beautiful old clock on the wall opposite the bed. This clock was made by master clockmaker Chauncey Ives, probably between 1815 and 1837:
When you look very closely, the details leap out. Look at the little gold stars at each hour mark. Or the hand painted letters. Or the little tiny cotter pin holding the hands of the clock in place:
This is at the bottom corner of the clock, and it shows the detail of some of the stenciling on the clock. To me, this looks like airbrushing, although ‘airbrushing’ as we know it wasn’t patented until 1876.
This is a little side table with one of Chester’s hats and a few books as props. The striking thing in this photograph (and in much of the room) is the flamed mahogany.
In going through the drawers, we found this interesting red glass bottle and stopper:
This is kind of funny – we found a bundle of tissue paper in a drawer, so as usual, we slowly and carefully unwrapped it, only to find – a wax candle carved and painted to look like a fisherman:
As we continue around the room, we enter Chester’s walk-in closet, where we found his top hat (for special occasions!) and its traveling case:
Hanging in the closet was this unique, hand-carved cane, and the wardrobe was full of the various accoutrements a well-dressed man would need:
Here, you can see all of his bow ties, starched collars and cuffs (back then, collars and cuffs were not part of the shirt itself):
And here you can see several of his formal suits, and how they hung (see the pants hanging in back?). The nearest suit was created by the Duncan Guiney company, which apparently operated out of the Knickerbocker Trust Building in New York. This doesn’t actually make sense, since the Knickerbocker Trust Building was a bank (and one that Congdon’s business partner, J.P. Morgan helped bail out after the Panic of 1907). Whatever the connection, Guiney obviously made some good looking suits:
This light fixture shows the dual-use plan for Glensheen’s lighting. The bottom was wired for electricity, and the top is a gas jet. Electric lights were pretty new when Glensheen was built, but they hadn’t stood the test of time. So Chester had electric/gas lights installed. As you tour the mansion, you can find them in many places. Not everywhere, but once you start looking, they keep turning up:
Also, did you note the artichoke finial on the post by the mirror?
And lastly, this is often missed, but there is a little light bulb up by the ceiling:
This was apparently part of the home security system. There are a number of these little lights throughout the house, and they were all wired to a common circuit, so if there were some emergency, a single switch would illuminate them all simultaneously.
Next room: Single Female Guest Room
Previous room: Clara’s Changing Room