fairlawn mansion today

Two views of Fairlawn Mansion

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays at Recollections. Recently, we asked our Facebook community to let us know what their favorite Halloween events were. Cindy Ayers Smith let us know about a favorite of hers; the Flashlight Tour at Fairlawn Mansion. The Flashlight Tour takes place each Friday the 13th and on or near Halloween. October features the Halloween Flashlight Tour on October 30th at 7:30 p.m. There is also a special Flashlight Tour with a Twist on October 28 at 7 p.m. In addition to the flashlight tour of the house, paranormal investigator, Scott Kenner, will share a short presentation featuring audio recordings collected in the house.

fairlawn mansion original owners, the pattisons

Martin & Grace Pattison

Fairlawn Mansion is located in Superior, Wisconsin. It was built by Martin Pattison whose wealth came from the iron mining industry. He built a 42-room home on one city block located on the harbor. The home is now a museum known as Fairlawn Mansion.

Cindy works for Fairlawn as part of the flashlight tour. She is also a Recollections customer! We asked her to tell us a little bit about the tour and how she fits into it. This is what she had to say.

“The flashlight tours were created to inform customers about Victorian superstitions and show off the mansion in the dark, but……..people also come looking for ghosts, so………playing the part of the ghost simply evolved.

old photos of the Fairlawn Mansion

Old photos of the Fairlawn Mansion

I dressed up for one of the Halloween flashlight tours in a Recollection dress to do security but quickly realized that people thought they were seeing a ghost and so I became Fairlawn’s ‘ghost’. I try to stay out of full sight of the people and will quickly walk across a room, hide behind curtains that cast shadows, shut squeaky doors, etc. We do not do the ‘in your face’ ghost stuff but are far more subtle so that people are not really sure of what they are seeing.”


We asked her how she turned into a Recollections customer.

Cindy Ayers Smith and her 'ghostly companion' at a recent Flashlight Tour

Cindy Ayers Smith and her ‘ghostly companion’ at a recent Flashlight Tour

“I found Recollections while I was surfing the net looking for period clothing.  I found less than quality clothing or way too expensive clothing until I found Recollections.  Being a seamstress myself, it was easy to see that your clothing was of a quality not found elsewhere and period appropriate and reasonably priced. (I actually own more Recollections clothing than normal street clothes and being tall I am able to special order my clothing so that it actually fits!)

It has been exciting to be able to share Recollections clothing with other co-workers at the mansion. I watch your Clearance Sales and am able to purchase your clothing to add to the costume ‘closet’ so they also have clothing ‘fit for a mansion.'”

We thank Cindy for sharing Fairlawn Mansion, Superior’s American Castle, with us. Fairlawn is host to a number of interesting events throughout the year. Find out more about the museum at their website. You may also wish to connect with them through their Facebook page.

Here’s some information from Cindy about what to expect if you decide to attend. It sounds like a fun evening!

“Fairlawn Mansion and UW-Superior’s Center for Continuing Education have collaborated to create an intimate evening of history and Victorian superstition. The evening starts with a BYOB reception. (No red wine.) Cheese and crackers, glassware, ice, and corkscrews will be provided. You will hear a short presentation by Scott Kenner, paranormal investigator, of his audio recordings collected in the house. The evening ends with a flashlight tour of the house. For more information, or to register for one of the dates, please contact Dana Luziach at 715-394-8032. You must be 21 to attend this event. $20/one ticket or $35/two tickets.”

– Donna Klein