I have always felt that Duluth’s greatest stories would be told by her historic walls.
Speckling the hillside, from west to east, are all these vintage structures, original to the Zenith City they call home. Their styles as unique as their original owners, their stories all a part of not only Duluth’s, but in many cases Minnesota and America as well.
This is the case of the Cotton Mansion.
Around the same era the brick home was built on the glen between Tischer Creek and Bent Brook in the sheen on Lake Superior, another major man, Joseph Bell Cotton, built his home in the east end of Duluth. This man made his money like many in the region; Cotton was originally the corporate lawyer for U.S. Steel until he became personal councel to John D. Rockerfeller (some local historians may argue that Cotton was instrumental in helping Rockerfeller acquire the booming mining and railroad industry from the Merritt family who originally founded it here in northeastern Minnesota, but that’s neither here nor there). His home, the second largest in Duluth at 16,000 square feet, second only to Chester Congdon’s beauty Glensheen. That beautiful golden home, lovingly restored to its former glory, now serves as a bed and breakfast that also invites eloping couples in to start the next chapter of their story.
One such couple is Brittny and Aaron, whose love story is now a part of the anthology of histories as they exchanged their vows in the Cotton Mansion.
This young, vibrant couple from the Brainerd Lakes region were lucky in love–not only did they find each other, they found themselves on a warm-weathered honeymoon that Brittny won while in Florida. Prior to this, they had one more adventure in line: A trip to Duluth for a destination “I do!” with their parents and siblings.
Just as the venue, the wedding itself was complete vintage romance. Channeling another era, Brittny rocked a thick, baroque-style strapless dress that showcased her beautiful choker, the exact necklace worn by her mother on her own wedding day. Aaron sported a classic three-piece suit. Both were incredibly on-point for ceremony and sunny portrait session along the shores of Lake Superior, including a stop at the Rose Garden’s beautiful gazebo.
And the rest, they say, is history…see for yourself: