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Glensheen gets drone's-eye view in video by viral creators

Jay Christensen and Anthony Jaska, who made a one-shot spin through Bryan Lake Bowl, offer a historic look at Congdon estate.

File: Glensheen Mansion
Glensheen Mansion (Clint Austin / 2017 file / News Tribune)
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The creators behind a one-shot drone dive through Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis that went viral earlier this year return with an old-school look at life at Duluth's Glensheen Mansion.

"Glensheen Experience," posted on YouTube by JayByrdFilms, starts with the clomp of horses, then the tinny radio voice of the narrator: "On the North Shore of Lake Superior lies an estate built for Chester Congdon and his family." The camera swoops in the front door, then glides into the mansion in the 2-minute, 18-second video that was posted June 20.

The drone was piloted by Jay Christensen, a University of Minnesota Duluth graduate, directed by Athony Jaska and produced by Jane Pederson Jandl with help from UMD's theater department and Top Hat Carriage, according to Glensheen's Facebook page.


Parts are black and white, an actor in the role of staff walks down the staircase, and another dusts, and the narrator describes life in the 39-room mansion. The camera follows a server to the breakfast room, where the likeness of Clara Congdon is dining. Viewers travel inside closets and across the grounds, along Tischer Creek to Lake Superior before doubling back for a full-on lakeside view.

Jay Christensen is the camera operator behind a promotional video for the Uptown alley that gave an 87-second drone's-eye view of the space. It's been viewed more than 2 million times.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that James Gunn of "Guardians of the Galaxy" had seen it and requested that whoever was behind the video should come to London and work on the third volume of the series.

The drone pilot has also spun through the Mall of America.

I am a 20-plus year employee of the Duluth News Tribune, first as a sports reporter, briefly as a copy editor and now as a features reporter with an emphasis on arts, entertainment and oddities. I enjoy trail running, paddle boarding, reading, yoga, cooking and things that are hilarious. I live in, and celebrate, West Duluth with my elementary school aged daughter, my longtime partner, and two pandemic pets. I can be reached at (218) 279-5536 or
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