The history nerd in me has the largest soft spot for historic buildings. I am hard pressed to find too many things that are more beautiful than well maintained and restored architecture. There is also something weirdly unsettling and sad when a beautiful building that has bore witness to time falls due to modernity (or a lack thereof).
This is why the work of Ken and Kimberly matter so much to not only us historians, but anyone who is looking for a one-of-a-kind elopement experience. They are the current owners of Duluth’s Cotton Mansion. While many a tourist turn their eyes to the majestic architectural wonder occupying its place right along Lake Superior known as Glensheen, the Cotton Mansion is not without its rightful place in the Zenith City’s History. Built around the same era as the Congdon home, this mansion is the second largest home in Duluth, second only to the previously mentioned mansion. It was built by the architecture firm Kees + Colburn for Joseph Bell Cotton, the lawyer who would help John D. Rockafeller acquire Oliver Mining Company–the company where Congdon made many of his millions–proving just what a small world northern Minnesota really is.
These days the building on east First Street is less full of magnate drama and more full of love, as it has become one of Duluth’s premier elopement venues. As a bed + breakfast, it is open to all visitors to the city…but for those looking for a wedding venue, this is a true delight. They offer a wide variety of packages to brides and grooms, from a one-day event to a two-night stay with breakfast. They also offer photography packages, but also do not mind if a couple secures their own.
On the topic of photography, this venue has no shortage of spaces and place for wedding photographs. The grounds itself is gorgeous–there is lush greenery, well-manicured landscaping, and the building itself. The interior is classic and romantic by virtue of its existence and the era in which it was built–an iconic photograph from almost every elopement is the bride on the epic staircase. The property is also in very close proximity to Lief Erickson Park and Duluth’s Rose Garden, which allows for couples to document their Duluth “I do” with a few photos next to the great lake.
Interested in learning more, visit the Cotton Mansion online, or check out their bio from Explore Minnesota.
Want to see two real love elopements? Check out the KLP Couples that chose this venue in which to say “I do!”
Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer. She provides services to elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullest! See more about the KLP Wedding Experience!