HCSCC manages the Comstock House, a historic Victorian mansion in south Moorhead that once belonged to Solomon Comstock, a prominent Moorhead booster, businessman, and legislator, his wife Sarah, and their three children Ada, Jessie, and George. George donated it to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1965.
HCSCC has managed the property since 2016, providing public programming and regular maintenance.
Hours & Location
Comstock House tours and programs are temporarily unavailable due to the current safety risk posed by COVID-19.
$7 Adult $6 Seniors (65+), Veterans, Active Military, College Students $5 Children (5-17) Free Children (4 & under), HCSCC & MNHS Members
The Comstock House was built over the span of two summers in 1882 and '83. Solomon Comstock purposefully chose the site on high ground and at a safe distance from the city's saloon district downtown.
The architectural ﬁrm Kees and Fisk of Minneapolis and Moorhead designed the home in the popular style of the time, blending Queen Anne elements with those of English designer Charles Locke Eastlake. The 11-room, two-story home is characterized by a profusion of spindle work porches, high patterned chimneys, and poly-chromed siding and trim. The property included an ice house, tool room, food storage room, and a barn for the family’s three horses and three carriages.
At $45,000, Comstock's house was the most expensive and lavish building on the block. Everything inside — lumber, brick, glass — all had to be of the highest quality or it would be removed at the cost of the contractor. Each room contained a different species of wood, as well as different wallpaper, all chosen with an immense amount of care. The home itself was filled with Asian-themed motifs, landscape paintings, and several maps showcasing Comstock's love of cartography. Doors and windows are made of solid oak, and the stairway banister and three first-floor mantelpieces are butternut. The home features unique details in each room, such as the parquet border in the dining room floor and the intricately carved door knobs.
Solomon Comstock spent 51 years in the house, and his wife Sarah spent 59. Their children continued to live in the home until donating it to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1965.
Throughout the years, the interior of the home remained almost unaltered, with the exception of the bathrooms. In 1974, the Comstock Historic House Society formed to assist in the restoration of the home back to its 1883 appearance.
The home opened to tours in 1980.
Reservations To schedule an event at the Comstock House, please contact 218-291-4211 or firstname.lastname@example.org. FeesThe use fee for an event is $50/hour for members of the HCSCC and MNHS and $75/hour for nonmembers. A nonrefundable deposit of 1/3 of the fee is due 2 weeks prior to the event date. Full payment is due at the event date.
Availability The Comstock House is available with the exception of days where a public event is held at the house. Renters must meet with the site manager at least one week in advance to discuss the event and any setup needs. Building Capacity
Seated event: 20 people maximum
Theater seating: 28 people maximum
Food and Drink Catered events are welcome; however, the Comstock House does not contain a kitchen, and cooking is not allowed on the premises. Catering staff are responsible for removing all trash and leaving the site in a clean, orderly state. Catering equipment may not be delivered the day before or left overnight after an event. The event user selects and pays for all catering costs. A list of suggested caterers can be provided upon request.
Red sauces and red wines and any foods with a high potential for staining are prohibited. All food must remain on the bottom floor of the Comstock House. The staff member on site must be informed of any spills as soon as possible so they can be dealt with immediately. The Comstock House does not hold a liquor license. Any and all liquor that is brought in for events must be supplied by a caterer with a valid Minnesota Liquor License.
While there is a staff member on duty always, it is still the responsibility of the renter to clean up after themselves. There is a sink in the kitchen for dirty dishes, and all trash must be taken to the large receptacle outside after the event is over.
Decorations and Signs Decorations and signs must be approved in advance and must be in free-standing holders. Tape cannot be used to affix signs to walls. Lit candles are not allowed.
Tour Guides Rental includes one staff member to answer questions and provide security and lock-up services. A guided tour can be added for the cost of $4 per person.
Accessibility Unfortunately, the Comstock House is not wheelchair accessible. There is one bathroom on the main floor.
Parking Street parking is available on 5th Avenue.
Equipment The Comstock House will provide tables, chairs, and some A/V and meeting equipment:
Folding chairs (padded seats and backs)
Folding tables (seat 6)
Card Tables (seat 4)
Large screen TV for use with your laptop
CD player for music
Photo Shoots The Comstock House is available for personal and commercial photo shoots. The cost is $50/hour for exterior and $100/hour for interior. The historic furniture cannot be sat on or used as supports for other items.