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History, elegant decor on display at mansions

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History, elegant decor on display at mansions
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

LITTLE FALLS — The fifth annual Christmas at the Mansions tour that begins Friday at Linden Hill in Little Falls will again be a treat to many.


Friends of Linden Hill, a nonprofit group sponsoring the tour, are offering more glitzier and glamorous decor, while featuring the history of the Musser and Weyerhaeuser mansions that began when Charles A. Weyerhaeuser and Richard Musser, known as the “Pine Tree Bachelors,” came to Little Falls in 1891.

Christmas at the Mansions will begin Friday and run daily from 1-7 p.m. through Dec. 4, with the last tour starting at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 per adult, $5 for children ages 12-17 and free for children 11 and under.

The self-guided tour will allow people to tour all four floors of the Musser mansion and three of the four floors of the Weyerhaeuser mansion. The mansions were decorated by local merchants and the Friends of Linden Hill’s Historic Preservation Committee.

Janell Staab, tour planning committee chair and Friends of Linden Hill board member, said this year the theme of the tour changed to the “Sounds of Christmas” to offer something different.

In the past, the theme has been “There’s No Place Like Home” taken from “The Wizard of Oz.” This theme was based off Laura Jane Musser, the daughter of Drew and Sally Musser, who had a special interest in “The Wizard of Oz.” The Mussers lived in the Musser mansion and purchased the Weyerhaeuser mansion from Charles A. Weyerhaeuser and Frances Maud Moon when they left the home in 1920 for 5 cents and a “handshake.”

The Mussers retained the entire Weyerhaeuser/Musser estate, which became known as Linden Hill. Laura Jane took up residence in the Weyerhaeuser home in the 1950s. Since 2007, Linden Hill has been managed by Friends of Linden Hill.

Staab said organizers are expecting more than a thousand people to go through the mansions. Staab said the proceeds from the tour will go to preserve the mansions and the property.

Staab said they’ll have well over 100 volunteers, who’ve helped decorate the mansions for the tour and those who’ll help staff the tours.

Staab said the decor offers something for everyone, as rooms are decorated more elegantly, to more traditionally to enhancing the history artifacts at the mansions. Staab, who decorates a room each year, decorated the Musser bedroom with a “Jolly Ol’ St. Nicholas” theme.

Motif Salon and Gift in Little Falls along with an Albertville business decorated the Carl Room in the Weyerhaeuser mansion by using coffee filters, bubble wrap and strips of Styrofoam materials as Christmas tree ornaments. Dee’s Decorating in Little Falls decorated the dining room in the Weyerhaeuser mansion in an elegant setting using garland and other decor.

Rose’s bedroom in the Weyerhaeuser home was decorated by the Historic Preservation Committee that displays a sign that reads: “Sarah Musser just returned from Christmas shopping in Minneapolis.” The two beds are full of gifts that include coin purses, linens, baby clothes, a tie and dress gloves. A copy of Musser’s Christmas list is displayed.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851.

Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.
(218) 855-5878