About The Inn
We invite you to step back to a fabulous era of unsurpassed refinement and hospitality in this grand 1904 Georgian Colonial Revival mansion. Guests marvel at the size of our suites because at the Olcott House, one of our many strengths is that each "suite" is literally a suite of rooms, not just a room with a bath. Enjoy an abundance of antiques, fine linens, china, crystal and quiet moments in a mansion designed over 100 years ago by renowned architect, William T. Bray.
Come play the beautiful grand piano in our historic, acoustically designed music room. Let the beautiful firelight emanating from the original mahogany and marble fireplace, an architectural structure in itself, envelope you as you settle your being into the luxurious designer furnishings in the Olcott's mahogany-paneled library. Savor our famous fair trade organic coffee, teas, cider, hot chocolate and spectacular candlelit breakfasts, where we always offer both traditional and vegetarian options! Take pleasure in our exclusive array of complimentary wine, cheeses, meats and other delicious offerings every day in the late afternoon/early evening.
A Truly Extraordinary Experience
We offer six unique guest quarters - five in the Main Mansion and one in the Carriage House. Each of our guest suites has a private full bathroom with thick luxurious towels, and oversized terry spa bathrobes. The suites also have air conditioning, fireplaces, DirecTV digital satellite LCD television, a DVD player, and CD player. Choose from our collection of DVDs, which includes some of the great old Hollywood classics. We also have a terrific collection of games, Lake Superior history books, magazines and classic literature for your enjoyment during your stay with us. There is free wireless internet access always available.
Explore the endless hidden treasures throughout this mansion, one of the first grand homes built in the tony East End district. Pass through the charming, diminutive doors from the library to the Grand Porch and feel the gentle breezes of Lake Superior (only 5 blocks away). Rain or shine, Spring, Summer and Fall on this open-air, covered veranda are marvelous, in part because the full length of the porch has a roof allowing guests to curl up with a book and blanket even when it is raining! Nature abounds with frequent sightings of deer and the occasional black bear walking through our compound. Relax in our private garden to the sounds of the fountain gurgling under the verdant arbor of the majestic century-old maple trees. Play croquet on our expansive, rolling lawn (5 city lots) surrounded by the original 1904 brick and iron fence. Walk or bike on Duluths nearby, newly extended Lake Walk… it's easily accessible from our house. Or, sneak over to our special Olcott House Secret Spot down in a gorgeous walking canyon on a hidden forested creek located on our very own First Street. There are so many things to do on the largest lake on the planet that we cant even begin to list all of the four seasons of fun here!
The owners bring years of experience and sophistication from New York and Los Angeles to the operation of their historic inn. We are known for our special balance of outstanding service and absolute respect for your privacy during your stay. We invite you to the Olcott House, Bed and Breakfast Inn, where you will feel truly comfortable and always welcome.
A Very Brief History of The Olcott House
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 Minnesotas 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. The Olcott House Bed & Breakfast Inn offers guests the ultimate environment in which to relax and create a magical, memorable experience.
Wake up to the aroma of our locally roasted Alakef Fair Trade USDA certified organic coffee. It's our renowned signature Olcott House blend! Choose from our extensive selection of organic and herbal teas, hot chocolate and hot cider. Next, enjoy a hot sumptuous breakfast served in our huge, elegant dining rooms. Our morning tables are set with crystal, fine china, silver, fresh flowers and are candlelit for your enjoyment.