Carriage House

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Perhaps we should have started with the Carriage House, and its apartments, since this is where most people today start their Glensheen experience. Well, now that we’ve come this far, it’s too late to turn back!

The Carriage House housed the stables, the garage, and lots of extras in the attic, but one of the main functions of the Carriage House was as a place for the male servants to live. Female servants lived on the East end of the mansion, but male servants (butlers, chauffeurs, maintenance men, etc.) lived out in the Carriage House. 

But before we head upstairs, we’ll finish off the downstairs. We went through the Garage and the Stables, but the area with the gift shop and the carriages on display also have a few things many people miss.

There are a few display cases that have plexiglass around them, so getting good photos is challenging. I’ve already shared one photo from behind the plexi (the ribbon from the Minnesota State Fair). Here is a pair of driving googles, an accoutrements that is sadly out of fashion these days:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

There are carriages and sleighs downstairs, as well. I’ll just share a few interesting details from those, including the door locking mechanism:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

And here you can see the communication system hanging down and resting on the seat:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

This carriage has a similar communication system:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

If you recall, the Garage had a Bowser oil pump. This one is a bit smaller, and I wonder if there was a common reservoir that they both tapped into:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

Here’s the name plate:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

I mentioned that the Carriage House was used as the apartments for the male workers at Glensheen. Unfortunately, most of the apartment rooms have been taken over by Glensheen staff, and very little of the original furnishings or character remains. Most of the rooms look like offices, which is of course what they are now. One partial exception is the front room, which is used as an office, but has kept a fair amount of the original fixtures and character:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

It wouldn’t be such a bad place to work, would it?

The newel post and the balustrade are decorative, but you can clearly see that it’s nothing, compared to the main house:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

Once you get upstairs, there’s not much that I would qualify as ‘Hidden.’ We did find a few maps that showed the estate. We’ve already seen a version of this map, but this one has been colored in a bit to better show borders and features:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

I like this architectural rendering of the grounds, due to its level of detail. Where the edge of the parking lot is today, there were paddocks (a pen for horses or cows) installed. By the 1930s, that was removed and replaced with a windbreak of planted spruce. 

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

Upstairs, we found a lovely print of Gustave Baumann’s, called “Rain in the Mountains.” The fact that it’s a numbered print (and not an original) makes me wonder if this was an original piece of artwork at Glensheen. Even so, it’s a winning piece of artwork:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

This was interesting – I didn’t realize that electricians would sign and date switches that they installed. This one was signed by J.C. Gilman, Electrician, and member of the IBEW Local #31:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

Glensheen was completed in 1908, so my guess is that Gilman finished wiring the house on April 11, 1908, and this was the last thing to be wired:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

From outside, there aren’t too many things to note. One is the block and tackle mount on the upstairs of the Carriage House. They likely would have stored grain and hay upstairs in the room that is now a storage attic, and this is how they would have gotten it up there:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

The copper cupolas are also worth taking a closer look at, with their unique finials:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French Photography

The last thing to share from the Carriage House is this charming photo of an unknown pair of girls playing in the stables:

Hidden Glensheen photo from the Carriage House by Bryan French PhotographyToday, we think of Glensheen as a fancy mansion and historic estate, but people lived, played here and grew up here.

Next: Gardener’s Cottage
Previous: Carriage House Stables

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