The Mayowood Mansion and Grounds
Rochester, Minnesota
   Mayowood was the realization of a dream for Dr. Charles H. Mayo (one of the founders of the Mayo Clinic) and his wife Edith. Both grew up on farms and had a profound interest in plants and animals. They desired a country home where their children could experience nature. For years before the house was built, the family used the property for outings, memorable events for the children because of Dr. Charlie’s amazing knowledge of nature. The Mayos’ favorite place for picnicking was under an oak tree, which still stands in the courtyard.
   The mansion, built in 1911, was the center of Mayowood Farm, patterned on the principles of the Country Life Movement. At its peak the farm consisted of over 3000 acres and included eight working farms, a dairy and greenhouse. 

Mayowood Mansion

   The landscape around the mansion included oriental island gardens and the European-style hillside water gardens with eight ponds and spillways, walkways, steps, a stone tower, statues and the tempietto fountain. A “dragon’s tooth” wall still marches up the road leading to the house.
   Fifty years of neglect filled the ponds with debris and the gardens with overgrown invasive plants. Eight years ago Olmsted County Master Gardeners began clearing the hillside, revealing the circa 1925 structures of the nationally significant landscape. Imagine “Dr. Charlie” and “Dr. Will” strolling on these grounds while planning the future of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.

Garden Tour Photos


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