I love big house tours. Mansions, manors, castles, I love them all. And I love that we have a pair of big house tours right here in the town where I live, Rochester, Minnesota.
One of those big houses, Mayowood, is gearing up for the biggest touring season of the calendar year, Christmastime.
Christmas at Mayowood is stunning. Each room is decorated by a different business or group, and they pull out all the stops. Trees, lights, garlands, ribbons, and so much more. I love Mayowood at Christmastime.
But then again, I love Mayowood all year round. Built in 1910-11 by Dr. Charles H. Mayo and his wife, Edith, it was "Dr. Charlie's" home until his death in 1939. Many famous people have visited the house, including Helen Keller, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the King of Nepal, and Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia.
Dr. Charlie designed the home himself, incorporating ideas he gathered from his world travels. The house is made of poured concrete, but it still feels homelike rather than monolithic. The mansion has 38 rooms and boasts extensive grounds for gardens, farmland, and nature. The home is filled with the personal possessions and mementos of the Mayo family.
The Mayo family left the house to the Olmsted County Historical Society in the 1960s, who operated it as a museum for many years. Eventually, the upkeep became too much for the OCHS, and ownership was transferred to The Mayo Foundation (Mayo Clinic.) Major repairs have been accomplished on the house, including a new roof and extensive garden updates.
Because photography is forbidden inside Mayowood without the permission of the Mayo Clinic, I don't have photos to share, but you can get a feel for the mansion in these videos.
To learn more about Mayowood and their Christmas Tours, use this link: https://www.olmstedhistory.com/your-visit/mayowood.html
Do you like Big House tours? Have you visited a house museum decorated for Christmas?
You can celebrate Christmas early this year by reading the Victorian Christmas Brides Collection available now wherever books are sold! Give yourself an early gift by picking up a copy today!
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