Learn the secrets of an old mansion

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) There’s a great opportunity to read a good book and take part in some fun activities with the Grand Rapids Library’s G.R. Reads program.

One of the books on the list is “Empty Mansions.” It’s a number one New York Times best seller and top rated among the best non-fictions books of the year.

It’s the story of Hugette Clark, written by a NBC News investigative reporter Bill Dedman, who stumbled onto the story of this eccentric copper heiress who had homes in Santa Barbara, Connecticut, and New York City that were unoccupied, but still maintained by servants.

Dedman co-wrote the book with Clark’s cousin, and her story gained prominence when she died because of the massive fortune left behind. Some of those items include a Renoir painting, a rare violin, and lavish jewelry, which will be auctioned later this month.

One of the events tied to the book choice in G.R. Reads is tours of the Voigt House in Grand Rapids. It was built in 1895 and contains original furnishings, personal items, and clothing from the Voigt family, who built it and lived there for 76 years.

The Voigt House is now run by the Grand Rapids Public Museum and is used for special events and camps. But as part of G.R. Reads, you can see inside. There are tours on June 16 and June 18, both at 7 p.m. Just check out their website for all the information.

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