Mandan News

Holiday Homewalk to feature Serendipity House

According to the Serendipity House website, the historic 100-ton, former New Salem museum, was moved in 1977 by David Weiss.

According to the Serendipity House website, the historic 100-ton, former New Salem museum, was moved in 1977 by David Weiss.

The annual Holiday Homewalk will feature the Serendipity House in Mandan and four homes in Bismarck.

The Holiday Homewalk features homes decorated by local merchants for the holidays. The event is held on Sunday, Nov. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Serendipity House is the historic New Salem museum and was built in 1897. The building was once rectory for St. Pius Church, then converted to a home for Catholic Sisters, and eventually home to Philip Blank Sr.

According to the Serendipity House website, “In February of 1977 an ad appeared in the Mandan Newspaper, asking for sealed bids to remove or tear down the home. The bid that was accepted was submitted by Ann and Caroline Conrath (mother and daughter), for $1000 to purchase and move the home.”

The mother daughter duo went to work to make this a home and an art gallery. However, the mother passed away before the work was complete.

Building materials from recycled historic locations were used. The upstairs ceiling is from St. Mary’s School and the Mandan Railroad Round House supplied the cedar support beams.

According to the website, “During Caroline’s retirement from the North Dakota Teacher’s Fund, she carried out her mother’s dream of an Art Gallery in her historical house. Caroline offered tours of the Gallery and taught many children the joys of art. She is a respected member of the Bismarck Art Gallery Association.”

Nonetheless, in 2011 the current owners Glenda and Bill Jennings, bought the home and repurposed the building as an event center, hosting group retreats, scrapbooking events, family gatherings and more.

The Serendipity House is opening their doors to the public at 4415 Old Red Trail. The Serendipity House will be decorated by Real Deals on Home Décor.

The Holiday Homewalk is a fundraiser for the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and plans to raise $10,000 to fund scholarships and concerts.
A reception featuring holiday baked goods will follow the event at Trinity Community Center, 310 E. Ave. A, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased for $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Advance purchase locations include Central Market Foods, the Symphony Office at 215 N. Sixth St., Bismarck or at any Bismarck-Mandan Petro Serve USA station.
For more information on the Serendipity House visit or call 701-391-0964.

By Katie Jones