Attention fans of Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs: get the other side of the story with a new tour at the Glenn House.
The Glenn House, a restored Victorian mansion with views of the river on Spanish Street, has been a classic part of Cape Girardeau since it opened for tours in 1980 after a substantial restoration and regularly offers tons of reasons to visit, from their Christmas tours to their inclusion in First Friday with the Arts, Pumpkinpalooza, whiskey tastings and everything in between.
As they open for their touring season, the folks at the Glenn House are bringing the stories of the domestic staff to life with their new “Voices from the Backstairs” tour.
When Christmas 2016 wrapped up, instead of returning the decorations to their second floor storage room where they’d been kept for decades, they were moved off-site and the restoration of the servant’s room began.
The Historical Association of Great Cape Girardeau operates the Glenn House, and members rolled up their sleeves and went to work fixing damage to the plaster ceilings and walls, painting, tracking down a period-correct light fixture and rewiring it and selecting furnishings at local antique shops that would speak to the experiences of a servant from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.
Members also researched and created an interpretive program, so when visitors tour the Glenn House this summer, they can hear what life was like for domestic help at a time of great change for the nation.
The servant’s room will be included on normal tours of the Glenn House, and stay tuned for special “Voices from the Backstairs” tours that will enter the home in the back, just like a servant would have, and focuses on the kitchen, wash room, servant’s room and the rest of the home through the lens of those who worked there.
The Glenn House welcomes guests for tours Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m., May thru October.