Diving bell unearthed at Glensheen Mansion


DULUTH, MN– There’s some big news out of Glensheen Mansion Friday night.

“We actually thought it was just like an anchor for a buoy or some large metal object that we just didn’t know what it was,” said Dan Hartman, director of Glensheen Mansion.

Buried deep within the Gleensheen Mansion boathouse was what’s believed to be a 100 plus-year-old diving bell. A piece of equipment once used to allow people to go deep underwater.

“People inside of it would have looked in to see whatever they wanted on the marine or the waterside,” said Hartman.

“My guess is they would have like a crane on the side of a boat and then that crane would hook into [the ring on top] and lift it out,” he said.

Crews cleaning out the boathouse from recent storm damage stumbled upon it.

“There were these 15-foot waves that crashed into the boathouse. So we used to have a door here and the door busted down and then all of this lake rock poured in here,” said Hartman.

Glensheen staff heard the device was down there but weren’t sure they believed it.

“Why would a private family honestly own a diving bell, which is primarily used for research or industrial reasons like checking out bridges,” said Hartman.

As we learn more about how it was used long ago, attention now turns to what to do with it next.

“We’re actually calling around to other local area museums to see who might be able to handle taking this in or whether it will stay here,” said Hartman.

Yet another piece of the past found on the property known for its rich history and the timing is absolutely perfect.

“For Glensheen this is super cool. This is a whole other new mystery that we’re trying to solve now. This is our 40th anniversary year and we are still clearly all the time finding new stuff here, which is kind of crazy,” said Hartman.

We’re told there have already been many purchase offers for the bell, but Glensheen staff said it’s not for sale because they believe it’s an educational part of the Glensheen legacy.

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DULUTH, MN– There’s some big news out of Glensheen Mansion Friday night.

What is believed to be a diving bell was unearthed in the mansion’s boathouse on Thursday.

Crews repairing some storm damage from a couple of years ago stumbled upon it.

Glensheen staff said there was a myth a diving bell was in the boathouse, but for years they questioned if it was actually down there.

Now, staff are asking lots of questions.

“Why would a private family honestly own a diving bell, which is primarily used for research or industrial reasons like checking out bridges,” said Dan Hartman, director of Glensheen Mansion.

Tune in tonight at 10 where we’ll give you a closer look into this mystery.

CeCe Gaines

CeCe Gaines

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