Glensheen Mansion

Northern Minnesota

The directors here claim this 39-room mansion, built on a 12-acre estate, is the most-visited home in the Midwest. Whether that's true or not, a visit here to admire the sumptuous early-20th century design, the elaborate furnishings and careful craftsmanship is a worthy rainy-day activity. The general admission ticket entails an hour-long self-guided tour of the interiors.

The mansion was the site of a grisly 1977 real-life murder mystery, when the last surviving heiress to the home and family fortune, Elizabeth Congdon, and her nurse were killed here. The 83-year-old heiress was smothered in her sleep with a pillow-case. Congdon's son-in-law, Roger Caldwell, eventually confessed to the murders, carried out for money, but ended up serving just five years in prison. He later committed suicide.

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