It all began in 1863 when Dr. William W. Mayo arrived in Rochester MN.  He was invited to Rochester to be an examining surgeon for men being inducted into the Northern Army serving in the Civil War.  The history of the Mayo family is not unlike other famous families.  It is filled with secrets, intrigue and speculations.  However, unlike other famous families, this family is known internationally as leaders in research and treatment of medical illness.  They are the Mayo Clinic!  They also left their mark on Rochester, the community.

Dr. William W Mayo and his two sons Dr. Will and Dr. Charles formed medical institution today treats patients from 151 countries and serves over 400,000 patients annually in their hospitals located in Minnesota, Arizona and Florida.

Veranda overlooks Zumbro River Valley

Veranda overlooks Zumbro River Valley


The historic Mayowood Mansion was built by Dr. Charles H. Mayo in 1911.  Dr. Charlie was a man of many interests and he played a very active role in the architectural design of the home which was constructed of stone, reinforced concrete and tile.  The home sat on 3,000 acres on which Dr. Mayo satisfied his interests in farming.  He was also interested in conserving the natural beauty of the area and Mayowood overlooks the Zumbro River Valley.  The vast gardens on the grounds  were influenced by European and Japanese gardens.

When Dr. Charlie passed away in 1939 his wife Edith, who had served as hostess to dignitaries, kings and visiting doctors, retired as mistress of the house and moved into the Ivy Cottage and Dr. Chuck, his wife Alice and their six children moved into Mayowood. They lived there for 30 years and Alice, the daughter of a Pennsylvania butter and egg man, made her mark on the home.  So many of the old mansions you visit are so dark, with heavy drapes and tapestries.  Alice let the light into Mayowood with expansive curved glass windows and bright colors.  It is really an amazing home.

You will drive behind the Mansion to park and enter the home.

The Mansion was given to the Olmsted County Historical Society in 1965.  It was in July of 2013 that the historical society could no longer take care of  it.  It had fallen into disrepair and the costs of renovating would be astronomical.  At that time title was transferred to Mayo Clinic.  Olmsted County Historical Society continues to provide tours of the mansion.  Mayo Clinic has currently spent millions on the renovation and the work continues.  They have remodeled some of the rooms into conference rooms and they use the facility.  It’s nice to see a historical building being used.   It keeps it alive!

You will enjoy touring this Mansion and hearing its history.  With few exceptions all furnishing are original to the home.

Unfortunate but understandable — NO PICTURES ARE ALLOWED INSIDE THE MANSION

April 16th through October 27th       Tickets:  $17.00   Age 13 and older;  $5.00 Age 2 to 12

Monday, Tuesday and Friday — NO TOURS

Wednesday & Thursday — 11 AM, 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM

Saturday — 11 AM, 12 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM

Sunday — 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM


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