The Olcott House was constructed in 1904 by master craftsmen at the exorbitant cost of $140,000.00, at a time when Duluth was home to more millionaires per capita than any other American city. The Antebellum architecture of the mansion showcases soaring pillars, rich mahogany wood panelling, massive mahogany and glass rolling pocket doors, beamed ceilings, antique crystal chandeliers, hardwood floors, bay windows, eleven unique fireplaces and a grand staircase. The estate encompasses five city lots surrounded by the original brick and wrought iron wall.
As one of Minnesota’s historic architectural gems, this 10,000 square foot Georgian Colonial Mansion and Carriage House was the home of William and Fanny Olcott. William Olcott was the University of Michigan's third quarterback in the University's history. This larger than life gentleman eventually came to Duluth rising from company engineer to president of the Oliver Mining Company, now U.S. Steel. With 40,000 men working for him, Mr. Olcott reported directly to John D. Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller and his family stayed in the Olcott family home when he toured his Minnesota land holdings in 1928. William Olcott was also president of the Duluth Missabe Northern Railroad for many years, and socially, was president of the exclusive Kitchi Gammi men's club along with other prominent Duluthians such as Chester Congdon, builder and owner of Glensheen Mansion.
The Olcotts raised two daughters in the family home and both girls moved to attend Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. The details of their wondrous childhood, including sailing the Great Lakes on the massive iron ore ship, the S.S. William J. Olcott, are documented in the published memoir, From Log House to Glass House which is available for reading during your stay with us. Charming and fascinating, guests have loved this personal and rare look into turn-of-the-century Duluth and The Olcott House.
In 1939, the two surviving Olcott children donated the mansion to Duluth Teachers College (now University of Minnesota at Duluth) where it became Olcott Hall, School of Music. In 1957 the mansion was sold to a Lutheran Pastor who used the property for many endeavors such as a printing house, a chapel, a Finnish Lutheran radio studio, and much more. Remarkably, the mansion has remained virtually unchanged throughout the decades. Immerse yourself in the rich history of this grand home filled with fine antiques. Owners David and Jerry offer guests the ultimate environment in which to relax and create a magical, memorable experience.