Participate in Iowa Museum Week—June 10 through 15—by enjoying a free tour of Brucemore. Follow a guide on a tour of the 21-room mansion and investigate the art, furnishings, technology, architecture, surrounding landscape, and stories preserved at Brucemore. Tours will be offered every thirty minutes Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 3:00 p.m. The last tour will begin at 3:00 p.m. Free tours during Iowa Museum Week are sponsored by Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust.
Three families owned the Brucemore estate between 1884 and 1981—the Sinclairs, the Douglases, and the Halls. They were business and community leaders during a century of evolution in the Midwest. Caroline Sinclair, widow of pioneer industrialist, T.M. Sinclair, and mother of six, hired architects Josselyn and Taylor to build the mansion for $55,000 in 1884. In 1906, George Bruce Douglas, of the Quaker Oats and Douglas and Company fortunes, acquired the home with his wife Irene, transforming the property into a country estate they named Brucemore. In 1937, their daughter, Margaret, inherited Brucemore with her husband, Howard Hall, founder of Iowa Manufacturing and Iowa Steel and Ironworks. The Halls added flair to the estate with famous guests, including Presidents Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman and their exotic pet lion. The Queen Anne architecture, 1925 Grant Wood Porch, 1929 Skinner pipe organ, and 1930s Grizzly Bar and Tahitian Room reflect the vibrant history of remarkable people. The changes they made to their estate, the impact they had on their community, and the stories they left behind shape our understanding of modern Cedar Rapids, eastern Iowa, and the American Midwest.
Iowa Museum Week annually raises awareness of the significant contributions made to Iowa communities by their museums in relation to quality of life, economic life, tourism, and education. In his proclamation of Iowa Museum Week in April, Governor Branstad recognized the importance of Iowa’s museums, stating that Iowa Museum Week will celebrate the crucial role of Iowa’s museums in preserving the historical fabric and memory of Iowa through preservation of artifacts and archives; in providing educational resources and programs which expand learning opportunities for all ages; in contributing to a vibrant community and state economy through job creation, purchase of goods and services, and by attracting tourism revenue to the community and state; and in their significant role in enhancing community quality of life. For more information on Iowa museums, please visit www.iowamuseums.org or contact Cynthia Sweet of the Iowa Museum Association at
Experience Brucemore, an unparalleled blend of tradition and culture, located at 2160 Linden Drive SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At the heart of the historic 26-acre estate stands a nineteenth-century mansion filled with the stories of three Cedar Rapids families. Concerts, theater, programs, and tours enliven the site and celebrate the heritage of a community. For more information, call (319) 362-7375 or visit www.brucemore.org.