Hastings is a quaint little town hugging the shores of the Mississippi River just southeast of the Twin Cities. Through a couple of visits I have managed to explore the town, but there is definitely more to discover. I’ll have to highlight some additional sites in another post, but first on my list to share is the historic LeDuc Estate.
Built during the Civil War this mansion was part of the ultimately folly of owner William G. LeDuc. As a businessman without a lot of business common sense, he created this magnificent home only to be house poor for the rest of his days. Because of various and mostly unsuccessful business ventures, his family was often required to maintain the estate through the Minnesota seasons by hand. As you can imagine, his privileged wife was not a fan.
Visitors can explore the grounds surrounding the house self-guided before taking an official tour of the home.
There is a chicken coop that is maintained. My youngest son enjoyed spending some time chicken watching. No doubt this simply addition provides fascination for little ones.
There are simple signs around the outside structures to provide insight into the use for the family.
A recreated school setting provides an ideal backdrop for some summer camp offerings.
Make sure to learn more about George Daniels, there is a special display providing more insight to the life of this African American in Minnesota.
The outside of the mansion is so amazing. It gives off the impression of a perfectly haunted house. Inside the home this feeling is not so apparent. I recommend focusing on the Gothic architecture outside if you enjoy imagining the mystery here.
I snapped a number of images inside the house, but if you want to check it out yourself try this virtual tour. Our tour of the house last around an hour. As always I brought my three little fellas with, the entire visit kept their attention for the most part. I love that they are old enough now to start to appreciate historic sites. There is so much to explore, discover, and learn about the past, I look forward to checking out more sites with them in the years to come.
Connect with LeDuc online to get the scoop on when tours are available and regarding any special events. There is a special Civil War weekend and even tea events available at certain times of the year.