MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of families head to Duluth every year to visit the historic Glensheen Mansion.

July and August are the busiest months at the mansion, and more than 84 percent of Glensheen’s income comes from tours.

READ MORE: Kim Potter Trial, Dec. 2 Live Updates: 10th Juror Seated, 4 More Needed

And the mansion is offering a new dynamic this year. You can tour the former home of the Congdon family on foot as always, but now you also have a chance to visit by water.

“By walking in here you can tell that you aren’t walking into an average home right off the bat,” Glensheen Mansion Director Dan Hartman said.

Steel tycoon Chester Congdon and his wife, Clara, built their dream home more than a century ago, with riches that rolled in from the Mesabi Iron Range.

“The more and more we discover Glensheen, it looks like it’s made up of the state of Minnesota and the artisans that make this state up,” Hartman said.

Stepping inside instantly takes you back in time. The living room, the dining room and even the cigar room are how they would have looked in the early 1900s.

Arts and crafts from one of Minnesota’s art pioneers, John Bradstreet, can be found on the floor where the Congdon boys once slept. For as old as the mansion is, there are always new discoveries.

“In the 35 years that Glensheen has been open, this has not been seen by the vast, vast majority of visitors,” Hartman said.

Clara Congdon’s private balcony was finally opened to visitors last summer. It is a new look at the historic property, but not the only new look.

For the first time in Glensheen’s history, there is a tour that will show you how this historic landmark looks from the water.

READ MORE: COVID In MN: Omicron Variant Detected In Vaccinated Minnesotan Who Traveled To NYC

“Around here we always know the lake is boss. The average temperature is 42 degrees on the surface,” Day Tripper of Duluth’s Matti Erpestad said.

Erpestad and Jake Boyce, of “Day Tripper of Duluth,” began offering kayak tours earlier this summer to anyone who wants to go. The tours quickly became popular and during the month of July, they were booked solid.

The tour takes you out by the mansion’s pier, which has been partially washed away by both time and water. From there it is across the waves of Lake Superior and into the calm of Congdon Creek.

“Kayaking here on Glensheen is a great way to get a totally new perspective of some of the things you can’t catch on the other tours,” Erpestad said.

By going under Glensheen’s version of a stone arch bridge, visitors will discover new and picturesque opportunities.

“A lot of people are impressed with how different the land looks from the water,” Boyce said.

But it is not just a history lesson that visitors get; it is also an escape.

“The creek is so tranquil and so relaxing. Just sitting here for a little bit you can tell people’s stress is rolling off,” Erpestad said.

And that is the idea — adding a new chapter to a piece of Minnesota history.

“Glensheen has so much richness to it that we are just trying to get that richness from a different perspective,” Erpestad said.

MORE NEWS: Meet Two Women Shaping The Next Generation Of The Twin Cities Food Scene

The 90-minute Glensheen kayak tour costs $45 per paddler. Glensheen has also started a “Concerts on the Pier” series this summer.

John Lauritsen