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Brucemore, Cedar Rapids

4.6
#2 of 38 in Historic Sites in Iowa
Historic Site Landmark
Brucemore, a park-like, 26acre estate in the heart of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the site of a Queen Anne-style mansion, formal gardens, a children’s garden, night garden, pond, orchard, and woodland. Built between 1884 and 1886 by Caroline Sinclair, widow of pioneer industrialist T.M. Sinclair, Brucemore has been home to three prominent families who used the estate as a center for culture and the arts. Brucemore, whose name alludes to the Scottish moors of the second owner's ancestral home, is Iowa's only National Trust Historic Site and is preserved by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in co-stewardship with Brucemore, Inc. Under the name of the T.M. Sinclair Mansion, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion has three stories, and contains twenty-one rooms. Notable features of the home are its steeply gabled roof, five chimneys, and several turrets.HistoryBrucemore is the story of three wealthy families: industrialists, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, boosters, neighbors, and friends. The men created great fortunes: Thomas Sinclair in meatpacking; George Bruce Douglas in starch processing; and Howard Hall in manufacturing. However, the women of Brucemore are at the heart of the story; Caroline Sinclair built the mansion; Irene Douglas transformed it to a country estate; and Margaret Hall gave it to the National Trust. It has been rumored that people have seen the ghost of Caroline Sinclair doing the Lindy on the grounds around her birthday every year.The Sinclairs (1886-1906)In 1871, Thomas McElderry and Caroline Soutter Sinclair moved to Cedar Rapids from New York. Thomas started his own meat packing business, the T.M. Sinclair & Co., which became the largest business in Cedar Rapids. Unfortunately, Mr. Sinclair died in 1881 in a fatal accident at the plant. Caroline was left a widow, with six children from her marriage, the youngest was only six months old. Mrs. Sinclair purchased the land and started work on Brucemore in 1884. Originally titled "Fairhome", the Queen Anne-style mansion was completed in 1886. The home cost $55,000 and was the most expensive home or building at that time. At the time of its construction, Brucemore was in the country, as Cedar Rapids had not yet grown to that radius.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
212 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We were too late to tour the building but we walked through the beautiful gardens and I would say nothing could compare to all those beautiful flowers. I took lots of nice pictures and the day was per...  more »
  • We had family in town visiting who were very interested in seeing Brucemore. I have always loved going on a tour, so had no problem agreeing to go again! The tour never disappoints! The house is beaut...  more »
  • This home Is well worth your time. It has a lot of original furniture and the guides are full of information. Cedar Rapids has had a lot of history in the past and Brucemore is part of that. It is a l...  more »
Google
  • It was a great experience. Even my 20 yr old son enjoyed learning all the fun facts that they provide. It was like stepping back in time. Well worth the stop.
  • Gorgeous grounds. And beautiful mansion
  • I grew up quite near Brucemore, and have many fond memories of visiting the lovely gardens.
  • Beautiful grounds, great events like balloon glow!
  • Beautiful location, plenty of flowers & a great historic mansion.

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18 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Dodgeville, Wisconsin Dells & Cedar Rapids BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in United States BY A USER FROM FINLAND October, outdoors, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 1 day in Cedar Rapids BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Cedar Rapids BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Cedar Rapids BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Cedar Rapids & Davenport BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Cedar Rapids BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Cedar Rapids & Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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