Today’s tour stop finds us in lovely Hastings, MN, a scenic river town just 20 miles southeast of the Twin Cities. Hastings boasts 63 buildings on the National Register according to the Hastings Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Board, and one of those buildings is the focus of the post today: the LeDuc mansion.
The LeDuc mansion was built in 1865 by William G. LeDuc. It took several years to build the home as construction costs skyrocketed well beyond what the LeDucs had budgeted to spend.
Over the years, the LeDuc family lived in the home on and off, between their stays in Washington D.C. when William served as the Secretary of Agriculture.
William had two daughters, Alice and Florence, who never married. William was entreprenuerially minded, which meant that his finances often went through dramatic highs and lows and caused unease for the family. After William’s passing in 1917, Alice bought a home in Minneapolis for the whole family, although they continued to use the mansion as their summer home.
The sisters sold the home to a family friend, Caroll Simmons, during the Depression after losing a good deal of their fortune. Simmons operated an antique business on the first floor and lived in the home.
Simmons came to an agreement with the Minneapolis Historical Society that he would transfer the house to them upon his retirement, which happened in 1986. The house was empty for twenty years before the Historical Society was able to completely return it to its former glory and open it to the public in 2005.
Former Residents Who Can’t Let Go?
The common paranormal occurances have been reported in the mansion: doors opening and closing on their own, cold spots, and objects being moved around the room. The speculation is that one of the mansion’s former residents, namely William or Alice LeDuc, or Carroll Simmons have returned to keep an eye on their beloved home.
Just to add to the list of potential ghostly occupants, William and Alice both had a flirtation with spiritualism, and some believe that they may have opened a door to the other world through those pursuits.
Whoever may still reside within the walls of the LeDuc masnion, it appears that they are friendly and no cause for concern.
(Source and photo credit: HauntedHouses.com)
Tomorrow we’ll be visiting the Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, SC. If you are enjoying the virtual haunted house tour, please share it with your friends! See you again soon!