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Vaile Mansion, Independence

Categories: Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 90+ reviews on the web
The 31 room mansionwas built in 1881 by tycoon Harvey Vaile. Recognized as on of the finest examples of Second Empire Victorian architecture in the U.S.
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  • I had seen photos of the Vaile Mansion and was impressed. Our visit there did not disapoint. Although there are few original pieces, they have done a great job of refurnishing with excellent period pi...  read more »
  • The house is very interesting, furnished with period pieces - but few (if any) are original to the home. Only access is by guided tour, which can be a bit dry, but it's worth your time and money to se...  read more »
  • I grew up in the area and saw this home before it was restored. This restoration has been beautifully done. The stories told are fascinating. 
  • The home is soo beautiful. I feel like i have travel back time! Our tour instructor was very nice and i feel she have covered everything there is to tell. Thank you to the city of Independence for restoring a beautiful past.
  • I am writing to address the handful of more critical reviews from guests. I often work as a tour guide at the Vaile Mansion and in doing so have learned much about home, the Victorian era, and historical restoration. We appreciate your feedback because it's helping to guide in terms of what guests may find interesting to have addressed in future tours. The main topics I've noticed as being issues brought forth I will list and address individually below: Main Topics: 1.Different experiences with different guides 2. Limited tour time or house access 3. Holiday or special event tours 4. The mystery of the no public access spaces 5. Is the Vaile a haunted home or open to paranormal investigation and why or why not? Every guide at the Vaile Mansion comes from their own unique back ground, with differing reasons for why they became involved in volunteering. While we all love the Vaile Mansion, we emphasize different aspects of its history, telling different stories about the home. A few guides have been present since the very beginning but many like myself are new and still learning. Should you feel like a tour was unsatisfactory or isn't covering what your interested in, please let the guide know. If you feel like the response you get isn't up to par then follow up e-mail Vaile Victorian Society or facebook message the Vaile on their Facebook page. Hearing from you directly will do more to influence change. I'd also ask that you be somewhat sympathetic to the circumstances of the day you take the tour which brings me to my next point. Tours at the Vaile Mansion usually run on a set schedule and coming earlier in the day often works best if you want to be able to take the house in at leisure. Photography is permitted on premise but let your guide know so we can keep guests and ourselves out of your snap shots. Visiting after 3:30 p.m may mean the tour is adjusted so we can cover the home in the time permitted. We have certain hours we need to adhere to so the home is operated as required by the Society and the City of Independence. If you feel your not getting the full tour please just ask, there may be other reasons. For example, holiday or special events, which if you've attended then you know just how dolled up this house can get for company. Our holiday and special events always draw quite the crowd so in order to allow as many as possible to have access to the home our tours may be shortened. These holidays and special events are meant to be a bit of an appetizer and wet your appetite for a return visit. No matter when you tour the third floor, basement and grounds aren't normally covered. Many of our guides are seniors who volunteer, giving the tours of the grounds would prove difficult for some. You can walk the grounds and questions about the Vaile property are welcome. We have artistist sketches, old postcards and a mural that highlight the property, itself. The third floor and basement are not accessible because they are not to fire code to allow access visitors. The Vailes' never finished the third floor so that is historically accurate. The basement and third floor areas are simply used now for storage. The basement was a laundry, kitchen and staff rooms and the third floor was meant to be a ballroom or maybe ballroom and billiards room. Lastly and infamously is it haunted? The house looks like it came from "Scooby-Doo" so I, personally, don't mind people being naturally curious. Just so your aware the Vaile Victorian Society and the City of Independence will not permit paranormal investigation and if you try to access the property after hours it will be considered trespassing. Respect this as its kept the home maintained and safe for us to enjoy. Personally, I say take the tour (maybe even more than once) and then decide for yourself. We'd love have more volunteers or members of Vaile Victorian Society, come help us treasure this jewel of Independence.
  • I loved it. Loved Independence Missouri. An Aussie going back next March yeah!
  • Beautiful house. No one else was at the house for our tour, with 2 hours till closing, but our tour guide rushed us threw the rooms, didn't like answering questions. We would try and linger to look at each room and she would move us on. There where lots of wedding dress on display, but not sure why. Couldn't go to 3rd floor or basement, so only saw half the house, so price should have been half. With a different tour guide who let us take our time and answered questions about house and furnishings would have been much better.
  • i went on a tour and nobody else was in my party so it was like a one on one tour!! beautiful house, I absolutely adore this mansion. kinda sad I can't go to the third floor other than that. a must see
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