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Bed and Breakfast home has a “rich? history

DCN Reporter

As Duluth is being transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland, many visitors to the Northshore are going the way of cozy Bed and Breakfast Inns when looking for a romantic getaway. The A. Charles Weiss Inn at 1615 E. Superior St., boasts a relaxing retreat for couples in a historic home over a century old, rich in Victorian charm.

“It’s so warm and welcoming,? said current owner Tim Edwards. “The architecture itself is pretty spectacular.?

Built in 1898 by Duluth Herald publisher Anton Charles Weiss, the building was home to him and his family for 30 years, a time in which he and his wife Mary became prominent community leaders in Duluth.

A.C. Weiss.jpg Mrs. A.C. Weiss.jpg
A.C. Weiss and Mrs. A.C. Weiss

“We chose this home because it is so rich in Duluth history,? said Edwards. “The Weiss family was very distinguished in Duluth.?

A.C. Weiss first came to Duluth in 1885 as a representative of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. According to a Nov. 28, 1933, Duluth News Tribune article, in 1891, after a series of ownerships and failures of the Duluth Herald, Weiss was offered the position of publisher by Mayor S. F. Snively. Weiss ran the paper successfully until his retirement in 1921.

Along with his role as publisher of the Duluth Herald, Weiss sat as a member of the board of directors for the Associated Press from 1909-1921, according to a April 10, 1933 Duluth Herald article. The Herald being the smallest paper represented on the board at that time.

While her husband was highly esteemed in Duluth, Mrs. Mary Weiss also made her mark in Duluth history.

According to a Dec. 29, 1941, Duluth Herald article, Mrs. Weiss was named the 12th member of the Duluth Hall of Fame in 1935 due to her leadership in Girl Scout activities, which brought national attention to Duluth, along with her work as a member of the women’s advisory committee of the Community Fund and her work with the educational and social welfare committee of the Chamber of Commerce and the Needlework Guild.

“Probably the most notable thing that happened to the family while they lived here was the death of their daughter,? said Edwards.

According to a Nov. 15, 1918, article in the Duluth Herald, 18-year-old Mary Weiss died from the Spanish influenza after having contracted it through her work as a volunteer nurse. The article also notes that she was one of the first to volunteer in an emergency hospital when the epidemic first broke out.

In 1929, the Weiss family moved from 1615 E. Superior St. into a new home, selling the property to Franklyn A. Johnson, who in 1934 converted the building into apartments.

“It was an apartment building until 1988 when the previous owners bought it and started renovations,? said Edwards.

According to a 2002 Duluth News Tribune article, the house was condemned and slated for demolition when Dave and Peg Lee bought it.

“It took them five years to renovate and get it up and running again,? said Edwards.

Also, in the Duluth News Tribune article, Dave Lee cites the reason they made the house into a bed and breakfast as being a way for them to live in a home they might not otherwise have been able to afford.

“We wanted to have a way that someone could stay home and raise a family,? said Lee.

The Lee family sold the A. Charles Weiss Inn in 2004 to current owners Tim and Karla Edwards, but they did leave their mark on the house.

“The [Inn’s] room names came from their children, Elias Reuban, Gretal Lenore and Elsa Amelia,? said Edwards. “However, the other two rooms, The Herald Suite and The Inkwell, get their names from A. C. Weiss being a newspaper man.?

The Inn not only boasts a historical Victorian retreat for couples, but is also a relaxing getaway offering a full service breakfast and on-site massage therapist.

“We really aim to please,? said Edwards.