Three Cedar Rapids 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 that saw an important 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 & 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 Iron Works. The Halls added flair to the estate with famous guests, including presidents Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman, and their exotic pet lion, Leo.
Today, Brucemore’s 26-acre, park-like estate invites exploration of the site’s history, gardens, grounds, and 21-room mansion through a variety of events and opportunities. The Queen Anne architecture, 1925 Grant Wood Sleeping Porch, 1929 Skinner player 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.
Brucemore is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and operated by Brucemore, Inc.
National Trust for Historic Preservation Member Discount
Free admission on regular guided mansion tours: one adult for individual Members; two adults and all children under 18 years of age in the immediate family for other Members. Discount does not apply to other programs and cannot be combined with other offers.
To receive discount, valid membership card must be presented at time of visit. Please contact site directly to ensure that discount is available on date of planned visit and for specific tour desired.
Stay connected with us via email. Sign up today.
Join us in celebrating remarkable American women and the places where they made history.Take the Pledge