My Travel Philosophy

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bed & Breakfast in Duluth

The drive this morning from Ashland took me near the Brule River and there was just the smallest amount of color in the trees, but we're definitely a couple of weeks from full color.  What an odd year:  terrible spring, indifferent summer, and now a late fall.
When I got to Superior, it was interesting to note that absolutely nothing looked familiar.  I realize that it's been 40 years since I lived here, and then only for a short time, but it was as though I had never been here at all.  All in all, Superior is definitely the poor relation compared to Duluth, but it appears that the downtown area of Superior is undergoing major renovations to restore the storefronts and buildings to former glory.  Perhaps it will be a beautiful community again at some point.

Oh, and by the way, I did drive around the area called Congdon Road near Brule thinking that maybe I'd stumble on the summer 'cottage' used by Elisabeth Congdon.  No such luck.  I'm not even sure I was in the right neighborhood.  Drove down a driveway just to check it out and surprised a nice gentleman who was getting ready to go fly fishing.  I just told him I was looking for a Boy Scout camp.

The lovely Ellery House in Duluth
In keeping with my 'historic tour' theme, I booked two nights a beautiful bed & breakfast in Duluth. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of information about the home.  It was built in 1890 by Ellery and Lilla Holliday and is described as a graceful Queen Anne Victorian with carved gables, turreted porch, and beveled and stained glass windows.  Holliday was a real estate developer and the home reflects the elegance and extravagance of the times.  It was built at a cost of $6,500.   Later, Thomas and Daisy Wahl owned The Ellery House.  He was a business tycoon known as 'Seaway Sam' for his enthusiastic and tireless promotion of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Thomas and Daisy Wahl were also figure skaters.  They skated exhibitions for audiences around the world, including the King of England.

The Thomas Wahl room where I can see Lake Superior from the window
In 1987, it was purchased by the present owners, Joan and Jim Halquist, and they turned The Ellery House into an inn.  There are two guest bedrooms and two guest suites; I'm in the Thomas Wahl room. The room is one floor up and a lovely bay window and windows that open! There is a gas fireplace that I might try out tonight if it gets cool enough. There are hand-made tiles of pink flowers in relief all the way around the fireplace with alternating pink and green tiles on the hearth. The bathroom looks like maybe it was a closet at one time. The toilet and a tiled shower are behind the door, and a pedestal sink is in the bedroom portion. The dressers and side tables are marble-topped, like Grandma's dresser.

My delicious home cooked breakfast served in my room
Like all inns, the rooms downstairs are common rooms:  large parlor, dining room, kitchen. Breakfast is served each morning, or you can have it in your room (which I'm going to do tomorrow), and coffee and tea are always available. Also available are sherry and port for a nightcap.

I should have plenty of time to catch up on my blogs tonight -- there are no TVs anywhere in the house!  

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