New Tours Available at Cape Girardeau’s Glenn House

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A new program at Cape Girardeau's Glenn House focuses on the lives of servants.

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. It’s well known for special events, from Christmas tours to Pumpkinpalooza to whiskey tastings and everything in between.

Opening for the 2017 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 its members went to work. They fixed damage to the plaster ceilings and walls, painted, tracked down a period correct light fixture and rewired it and selected furnishings at local antique shops that would speak to the experiences of a servant from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

Members also researched and created an interpretive program, so when you tour the Glenn House this summer, you can hear what life was like for domestic help at a time of great change for our nation. The servant’s room will be included on normal tours of the Glenn House. 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 p.m.-4 p.m.,