Tinker Swiss Cottageoffers a glimpse of a forgotten age. Rockford businessman and one-time Rockford mayor Robert Hall Tinker built this exotic Victorian home in 1865 after a whirlwind trip to Europe. Today, filled with original furnishings, artwork, and family diaries, Tinker Swiss Cottage is open as a museum, transporting its visitors back to Rockford in the 1890s.
The Cottage is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Over the years, steps have been taken to return the Tinker estate to the way it once was. The Museum reconstructed the 1891 suspension bridge that once linked Mr. Tinker's cottage with his wife's property on the other side of Kent Creek. The unique bridge is now open for visitors to experience as part of their tour. A circular rose garden in front of the Cottage has been recreated using heritage varieties of roses and perennials.
In addition, Mr. Tinker's 1873 barn has also been reconstructed, and offers space for special events, exhibits, programs, meetings, and community events.
Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum offers free days during the year. Call 815.964.2424 for exact dates and times.
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