Holidays

Tinker Cottage Winter Updates 2018

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Now that cooler weather is upon us, we’d like to give you a quick overview of what will be coming your way from here until the end of the year.

Our Victorian Mourning Customs exhibit has been taken down as of November 1st. Missed your chance to see the exhibit? No worries, we have another exhibit coming your way! Starting the weekend after Thanksgiving and running through January, you will be able to visit our Victorian Christmas exhibit. Join us as we discuss Victorian Christmas traditions, parties, and how the Victorians still relate to us today.

You’re also going to want to stop by to see the Victorian Childhood Exhibit before it is taken down in the new year!

Looking for something to get you in the holiday spirit? Join us on December 1st for our final paranormal tour of the year: Ghosts of Christmas Past! You can get your tickets HERE!

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Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens

Tinker Swiss Cottage will be closed November 21-23 in observation of Thanksgiving, but we will reopen for our usual tour times on Saturday, November 24.

Please also note that Tinker Swiss Cottage will also be closed from December 22 through January 1st in observation of the holidays. Our regular business hours will resume on January 2nd, 2019.

We can’t wait to see you soon!

 

~ Samantha

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Mourning in the Tinker Swiss Cottage

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With October nearing a close, everyone is heading out to the local apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and haunted houses. While you’re carving pumpkins, drinking apple cider, and telling ghost stories, don’t forget to check out Tinker Swiss Cottage for a historical twist to the fall season!

What’s new (and maybe a little creepy) at Tinker Swiss Cottage for the month of October?

On September 4, 1901, Mary Tinker passed away in her home at the age of 72. The Tinker family stopped the clocks at the time of her death, and her portrait in the parlor was adorned with flowers. In the Victorian era whenever a death occurred in the family the clocks would be stopped at the time of death, as if time itself stopped with the passing of the loved one. If a portrait existed of the departed, it would be strewn with beautiful flowers. When you visit us this month you will notice that the clock in the parlor has been set to the time of Mary’s death, and her portrait is once again decorated with flowers and crape.

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©TinkerSwissCottageMuseum

The most obvious difference you will find in the parlor is the authentic Victorian coffin. Don’t worry, nothing is going to pop out at you, but it does bring a creepy feel to the room. Along with the coffin, you will notice that the full-length mirror is covered in black. The Victorians covered mirrors for two purposes. First, it allowed the family to mourn without having to watch themselves cry. However, the second purpose is far more interesting – a spiritual movement in the Victorian era. During this movement, not only were Victorian families going to church every Sunday and reading their Bibles, but they also believed heavily in the spirit world. Some tried to make contact with their departed through séances and Ouija Boards, while others simply did not want their loved one’s spirits to be trapped in the home. The Victorians believed covering the mirrors stopped the departed souls from getting trapped inside of it, thereby allowing them to find their way out of the home more easily.

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©TinkerSwissCottageMuseum

 

In the library you will find a Witch’s Ball sitting on the fireplace mantle. Legend has it that a homeowner with children would place string inside of the Witch’s Ball in order to protect their little ones from the witches who would sneak in through the windows at night. The Victorians believed that the witches would be attracted to the ball with the string inside of it. They would waste away their nights trying to pull the string out one little piece at a time until morning came and they had to flee. The children’s souls would be safe from the witches, and enough string would be left in the ball to protect the children the next night as well.

What other aspects of death were the Victorians interested in?

The Victorians had many other mourning traditions. For example, the family of the deceased would wear specific mourning garb. The style, fabric, and color varied depending on one’s relationship with the departed. Wives wore mourning clothes longer than any other member of a family. The women wore black veils covering their faces for 3 months after their husband’s death, and then the veil was moved to the back of their bonnet. Widows wore veils for approximately one year and the rest of their mourning attire for a total of two years. After two years they did not need to wear the deep black dresses, but they had to slowly transition from dark colors to lighter ones. Many widows never returned to the brightly colored dresses, choosing to remain the muted colors for the rest of their lives. Men would wear their black suits, gloves, and neck ties for a year after their wives passed. Parents would mourn the loss of their children for a year, and children would mourn their parents’ deaths for approximately a year as well. Siblings mourned for approximately six months. Be sure to stop in to see Mary Dorr Manny Tinker’s Mourning gown on display in our sitting room for yourself!

Marry Dorr Manny Tinker ©TinkerSwissCottageMuseum

 

In an era before Facebook and Instagram, the Victorians did not have many images to remind them of their loved ones who had passed. Post-mortem photography became very popular, since it was possibly one of the only times a person could have their portraits taken (generally due to the high cost). During these sessions the body of the deceased would be propped up in an effort to make them seem more lifelike. It was also very common for other family members to gather around the dead in order for their picture to be taken at the same time. In the Tinker Dining Room you will get a chance to see one of these images.

Along with post-mortem photographs, the Victorians would also take pieces of their loved one’s hair to fashion into a keepsake. Some fastened locks of hair into jewelry, while others were arranged into floral shapes and framed. Many Victorian families even collected hair from every family member who passed and fashioned the strands into pieces of art. In Jessie’s bedroom, you will find a lock of Jessie’s first husband Gye Hurd’s hair next to his photo on her dresser.

Remember, these pieces are only out on display for the month of October! Hurry in to learn about mourning customs in the Victorian Era before October’s over!

It’s also not too late to join us for one of our unique Paranormal Tours! Our final tour for the season will be this Friday, October 26 at 7pm.
¤ Samantha
Some extra reading:
http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/7-most-morbid-victorian-mourning-traditions
http://www.victoriana.com/VictorianPeriod/mourning.htm
Victorian Funeral Customs and Superstitions
http://www.angelpig.net/victorian/mourning.html
http://www.quilthistory.com/vmc.htm

History of the Ice Cream Social

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Warmer weather is on its way, and you know what that means – ice cream shops will be opening soon! Believe it or not, ice cream has been enjoyed for centuries. While there is debate on who exactly created the delicious dessert, we do know that it was occasionally served in England’s courts by the 1600s.

The first definitive case of people serving ice cream in the American colonies occurred in 1744 in Maryland. Since that initial distribution, ice cream appeared on many occasions throughout the following decades. For example, in 1784 George and Martha Washington purchased a “cream machine for ice” for their home at Mount Vernon. In 1802, Thomas Jefferson was the first U.S. President to serve ice cream at the White House.

No surprise, early Americans enjoyed many of the same flavors we do today, including strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, and pistachio. However, there were many other flavors served by the 1800s that aren’t as common today, like tea, parmesan, and even oyster flavored ice cream!

Over time, Ice Cream Socials began appearing as fundraisers for various organizations like schools and churches. By the time the Tinker family began fundraising for the McFarland W.C.T.U Home for Children, Ice Cream Socials were one of the most popular options. Below you will find an image of the first Ice Cream Social held at the Cottage.

 

Ice Cream Social
©TinkerSwissCottageMuseum&Gardens

While we may no longer host Ice Cream Socials at the Cottage, we do have many fun events throughout the year we would love for you to attend. For more information, check out our website. We’ll see you soon!

 

 

¤ Samantha

Some more fun reading:
http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/spring10/icecream.cfm
http://www.scoops2u.com/history-of-ice-cream-socials/
https://whatscookingamerica.net/History/IceCream/IceCreamHistory.htm

A Victorian Wedding

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Wedding season is in full swing here in Rockford. I don’t know about you, but I’ve already attended the first of five weddings for the year. Crazy, right? Everyone seems to have something Pinterest-inspired, opinions on the food being served, and that beautiful white wedding dress. Some friends have very little to no flowers, while others are having floral everything. All the little details really do seem to make your special day stand out as unique and reflective of your life together. As a historian, I can’t help but compare our modern day wedding traditions with those that the Victorians held.

We don’t have a ton of information about either wedding ceremony Robert Tinker participated in: his first to Mary and his second to Jessie (trust me, I’m dying for details!), but here’s a quick summary for you: Robert Tinker married Mary Dorr Manny on April 24, 1870 in her limestone brick mansion. Their marriage lasted until Mary’s death in 1901. Three years later, after the death of Jessie’s sister Marcia, Robert and Jessie became the only two family members left in the house. Technically, since Jessie was Mary’s niece, the two were not related. In Victorian society, people couldn’t live together unless they were related, so the two decided to wed as a means of complying with societal norms. (Once again, crazy, right?) Anyways…Robert and Jessie were married on March 14, 1904 in a very small, quiet ceremony in the Cottage’s parlor. Robert’s second marriage lasted until the end of 1924, when he passed away. In the Victorian era, many people were wed in either their homes or in the bride’s home church.

Manny Mansion

The Manny Mansion ©TinkerSwissCottageMuseum&Gardens

By now you’re probably asking yourselves questions similar to: What did Mary and Jessie wear? Did they have bouquets? What flavor cake did they choose? Did they do the “Chicken Dance” at the reception? Really, I can’t be the only one curious about the origins of the Chicken Dance.

While today we have weddings in every month of the year, June tends to still be known as the traditional wedding month. The Victorians had a popular saying, “Marry in May, rue the day!” (I guess I missed that memo!) June was a popular month for Victorian weddings for a number of reasons. First, the name June originated from the Roman goddess Juno, commonly known as the goddess of marriage. Also, June provided warmer weather and wasn’t during harvest season. Finally, June fell at the end of Lent, allowing for fewer restrictions on the celebrations.

Having the bride wear white was a new concept in the Victorian era. It resulted as a fashion trend after Queen Victoria brought about the idea of being wed in a beautiful white dress. Generally, women would wear their best dresses for the occasion, regardless of the color. Like the ladies, men would wear their best suit to the wedding.

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A cabinet card received from Elsie Weatherup, sent to Marcia Dorr with the inscription handwritten on the back: “For Marcia with Christmas / greetings from Elsie – / Taken in Oct. 1896 in / my wedding gown five years’ / after the event”.  “Hall Buffalo” printed at bottom of image. ©TinkerSwissCottageMuseum&Gardens

Today, many women choose to use the traditional “Bridal March” when walking down the aisle – although we’ve all got that one friend who totally danced the whole way down to the altar to “Forever.” (No? Just me again?) While we think of the “Bridal March” as a traditional song, it wasn’t until 1858 that it actually became popular, thanks to Queen Victoria’s daughter. Of course there were bridesmaids and groomsmen in the Victorian era, but the bridesmaids would often wear white as well – a big “no-no” for today’s weddings! Often times, the best man would be the one in charge of paying the minister. Bouquets and boutonnieres made of real flowers, silk, and ribbons adorned the members of the wedding party, similar to the ones we use today.

While I love watching the ceremony, my favorite part of every wedding is the reception. (Who doesn’t like a fun party?) Most of our weddings today take place in the early to late afternoon with a reception following suite – sometimes into the early hours of the next day! The Victorians, on the other hand, preferred morning ceremonies with brunch following. Two separate cakes would be prepared for the couple. The Bride’s cake consisted of either a light fruit cake or pound cake; whereas, the Groom’s cake consisted of a darker colored fruit cake. The Bride’s cake was always larger than the Groom’s, and eventually overtime the Groom’s cake died out. Today, there seems to be a slight increase in Groom’s cakes again, using super heroes, zombies, or video games as decorations. (Thanks Pinterest!)

Finally, to answer the question you’ve all been thinking about: Did the Tinker’s do the “Chicken Dance” at their reception? Long story short, the “Chicken Dance” was created in Switzerland in the 1950s. Although the song appeared roughly 80 years after Robert and Mary’s wedding, I like to think that Robert would have joined in, flapping his arms and shaking his hips. (He did model his Cottage after a Swiss Chalet and was a jokester, after all!)

¤ Samantha

Christmas at the Cottage

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It’s that time of year again! Everyone is decorating for the holiday season, and here at the Tinker Swiss Cottage we’re just as excited as you are. We’ve decked the halls and trimmed the trees throughout the cottage. Even though it is common practice today, have you ever stopped to wonder where these traditions came from?

Many believe that the Christmas traditions we hold so dear today have been around since the beginning of the holiday. However, Christmas wasn’t a legal holiday in the United States until late into the nineteenth century. Christmas traditions came out of the northeast and spread throughout the rest of the country; yet, many Puritan families regarded these celebrations with suspicion.

Homes were decorated, gifts exchanged hands, and loved ones gathered together for Christmas dinner. Decking the home in greenery became very popular in the Victorian era, but it’s origins stretch farther back – dating to the Druid, Celt, Norse, and Roman civilizations. These people used greenery in celebrations of the Winter Solstice, decorating homes with wreaths and garlands. The evergreen wreath was a symbol of the unending cycle of life. When being a Christian was a death sentence, they incorporated these greenery traditions into their homes as an attempt to blend in with the rest of society. Years later, when Christian missionaries ventured into regions where the Winter Solstice was held, incorporating certain pagan traditions in Christian celebrations also assisted in drawing more people into the Christian faith.

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Plants that remained green all year round brought hope in the return of spring to these early civilizations. They believed holly warded against evil spirits and witches and also ensured the return of vegetation. Ancient Romans believed mistletoe was a sign of hope, peace and reconciliation. In Victorian England, a Kissing Ring of mistletoe was constructed to hang from the ceiling. Girls were kissed beneath it, but in doing so one berry had to be plucked after each kiss. When the sprig ran out of berries, no more kissing could occur under that ring.

German immigrants brought the tradition of the Christmas tree to both England and America. When Queen Victorian and Prince Albert, of German descent, celebrated the birth of their son in 1841, Prince Albert brought a Christmas tree in to Windsor Castle. The tradition spread through England during the mid-nineteenth century. It was around this time that German immigrants brought the tradition of a Christmas tree to America. Victorians would cut off and bring home only the top 2-3 feet of a pine tree, which was then set on a table. However, the Germans worried about deforestation, and therefore, they created fake trees using goose feathers. These feathers were dyed green to give the appearance of a real tree, but the branches were spaced out more than those of real trees. This allowed the ornaments on the tree to be seen easier.

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The first Christmas trees were laden with baked ornaments, fruit, flowers, nuts, berries, popcorn, lighted candles, and even small Christmas gifts. However, these pieces could become heavy and cause many trees to fall over or droop. German glassblowers decided to start producing lightweight glass balls to replace these heavier, natural decorations. By 1917, Robert writes that “Our X-mas tree was rubber stalk tub in kitchen.” If you are interested in seeing some original Christmas ornaments from the Tinkers’ trees, you’ll be able to find them on a feather tree in the parlor!

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Like today, the Victorians exchanged Christmas gifts between both adults and children. Children’s toys tended to be handmade; however, with the industrial revolution came factories designed to mass produce more affordable children’s toys. Games, dolls, clockwork toys, and even books became common among middle class children. However, children from poorer families would find fruits and nuts in their Christmas stockings instead. The idea of St. Nicholas arrived in America with Dutch settlers in the seventeenth century, but by the late-nineteenth century the British figure of Santa Claus appeared in American cities. Instead of leaving cookies for Santa like we do today, Victorian children set out crackers for their visitor.

Christmas cards also became popular in the Victorian era. The idea began in Britain, where one could send a card for the price of a penny stamp. Sir Henry Cole printed the first set of Christmas cards or his shop in London in 1843 and priced them at a shilling each. By the late nineteenth century, Christmas cards had become highly popularized in both Great Britain and America. Along with original ornaments, in the parlor of the cottage you’ll also find many of the Tinkers’ original Christmas cards!

Christmas dinners of the Victorian era reflect many of our modern meals as well. Turkey, chicken, roast beef, goose, boiled ham, or rabbit served as the main dish for most families. Side dishes included cranberry sauce, apple sauce, beets, turnips, corn, carrots, and peas. For dessert, many families ate pumpkin or apple pies, lemon pudding, plum pudding, and ice cream (for the lucky ones). Some items are less like the ones we serve today, such as clam soup, smoked tongue, and mince pies.

Carolers traveled through neighborhoods, stopping to entertain households with one of the latest Christmas carols. Some of these include “O Come all ye Faithful” (1843), “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (1868), and “Away in a Manger” (1883).

Curious as to what our favorite Victorians were up to during the Christmas holiday?

As we scan through Robert Tinker’s diaries, there are a few specific Christmas celebrations that stick out. Still at home with his family in New York, Robert wrote in 1854 that he woke up on Christmas morning with a toothache, but that didn’t stop him from partaking in the “pop corn molasses candy.”

As we know, once Robert was in Rockford, he and Mrs. Mary Manny quickly developed a strong friendship. For Christmas of 1866, Robert writes, “I had from Mrs. M an overcoat worth $50.00 + black walnut stand…”

During Christmas of 1903, everyone in the Tinker household seemed to be a bit under the weather. “Gloomy Christmas – Marcia sick. Jessie rolled up on couch with headache + grip,” Robert mentioned.

Before Teddy was adopted, Christmases at the Cottage in the early 1900s tended to be rather quiet. “Fine Christmas. Turkey with only 3 to eat it. Arranged book shelves in library window,” Robert wrote in 1906. After the Tinkers adopted Teddy, Christmases at the Cottage became a bit livelier. In 1909, Robert described the “Big Christmas tree in parlor loaded with gifts + Toys for 8 relatives…” We even have an image of Teddy’s first Christmas with the Tinkers!

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Teddy’s First Christmas

As Teddy grew older, a young relative moved in for a short time with them as a playmate for Teddy. During the Christmas of 1913, Robert wrote, “Two boys – new toys, big noise. Didn’t step out door all day. Domestics absent but a good roast duck dinner all sames.”

 

Don’t forget to come visit us to observe some of the original Tinker Christmas decorations on display until January 15. Also, the last day to check out our silver exhibit is this Sunday!! The staff at the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum wish you a very happy holiday season!

 

¤Samantha

A Victorian Thanksgiving

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Today Thanksgiving is a national holiday where we gather with family and friends with a feast, football game, and a remembrance of what we have to be thankful for. Many believe that Thanksgiving has been a tradition since the time of the pilgrims, but it turns out that this holiday has Victorian origins.

Originally, New England Protestants were the only ones to celebrate this holiday. However after a seventeen year campaign by Sarah Josepha Hale, an editor for Godey’s Lady’s Book, President Lincoln officially declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. Both Hale and Lincoln hoped that creating a national day of thanks would help the nation heal from the devastation of the Civil War.

Some Victorian Thanksgiving traditions have died out, such as poor children dressed in costumes begging for fruits, vegetables, and money. However, many traditions started in the Victorian era have remained. Today we decorate our homes with pumpkin and turkey themed items. However, the Victorians decorated with more natural elements, such as seasonal autumn leaves, chrysanthemums, asters, palms, ferns, dried grasses, and grains. The Victorians set the table with their finest dishes, whether they were china, crystal, or silver. Children even had their own table set with brightly colored decorations.

Some items on the Victorian Thanksgiving menu are very similar today: turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, stuffing, potatoes, fruits, nuts, cider, coffee. Yet today very few of us will sit down to eat mincemeat pies, scalloped oysters, clams, plum pudding, and boiled onions. Overall, the Tinkers had smaller, more intimate gatherings – sometimes with no guests at all. Whether you have a small gathering like the Tinkers or a large feast this Thanksgiving, the Tinker Swiss Cottage staff wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!

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A Halloween Jubilee

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Halloween is quickly approaching. Kids are getting their costumes picked out, neighbors are buying candy, and families are carving jack-o-lanterns. Halloween originated in Celtic regions as a transition from one year to the next. Once Christianity reached the Celtic lands, the church turned October 31 into All Hollow’s Eve and November 1 into All Saints Day in an effort to convert the Celtic people. However, a large portion of our modern Halloween traditions date back to the mid-1800s, when the superstitions and thoughts of spirits gave way to parties formed to entertain children and adults alike. Advertisements and suggestions for Halloween party décor and ideas could be found in Victorian newspapers across the country, along with the location of community events. Although it originated from the British Isles, the celebration of Halloween quickly spread across the U.S. and found its way to Rockford, where the Tinkers celebrated in their cozy cottage.

Like most families with little ones, Teddy’s arrival made holidays at the Cottage more lively. The Tinkers celebrated Halloween with energetic parties held in the Annex. The excitement of the season was so great that homes would fill with the chatter of the upcoming holiday weeks before the parties. Robert wrote in his journal on October 16, 1915, “Coming Halloween already absorbing attention of household.” Jessie’s plans for Teddy’s Halloween party paid off. The Cottage was decorated to such a degree that Robert brought friends over to observe the set up days before the party was to take place. “After settling an old a/c at Cottage bro’t Miss Gulliver + dog ‘Don’ in my electric dray over to see decorations in annex for hallowe’en party to be.” What a sight that must have been!

Halloween parties of the Victorian era focused on games, seasonal foods, and sometimes even costumes. Bobbing for apples, jumping over candles, and fortune telling all played a role at these events. Young ladies would play a game in which they sliced an apple in front of a mirror in order to catch a glimpse of their true love. Pin the Tail on the Donkey, scavenger hunts, and Blind Man’s Bluff were also popular among children. Some families turned their cellars into “haunted houses” while others threw themed parties. Jack-o-lanterns, gourds, cornstalks, and crepe streamers could be found decorating homes. Nuts, apples, pudding, and cakes were served to guests. Some cakes even held small objects inside of them, which the Victorians believed could tell your future for the upcoming year.

According to Robert, the Tinkers’ Halloween party in 1915 went well. “Hallowe’en party in Annex for the kids – great success – 3 of them remaining thro the night + Saturday.” The Tinkers continued to celebrate Halloween each year, yet parties were not always thrown. In 1916 the Tinkers attended the “Seventh St Halloween jubilee in evening.” As Teddy grew older and more independent less parties were held at the house. The last Halloween party Robert records in his journal was held in 1918. “Wife gave a little Halloween blowout for neighboring kids in Annex to keep Ted at home.”

Don’t forget to come and check out the spooks around the Tinker Swiss Cottage before Halloween is over. The parlor is staged for a funeral, a phrenology skull is on display, and a witch’s ball can be found in the library. Of course there’s always the upcoming paranormal tour on October 28! The staff at Tinker Swiss Cottage hope that you enjoy your Halloween parties as much as the Tinkers did and that you have a safe weekend!

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¤ Samantha

Things that go bump in the night…

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As a historic home, we receive several questions everyday. From “ How much did this home cost to build?” to “What wood is in the floors?” to general statements like “I wish I could live here!“, all of these come throughout our daily guided tours.

However, these questions turn a bit macabre as October and the Halloween season comes creeping in.

“Have you seen anything? “, “Have you heard anything strange before?”“Is the house haunted?!”

This much is certain, as a home that just celebrated our 150th anniversary, we have a lot of history. We have a lot of stories to share. That is why we have paranormal tours.

Join us every Friday in October for scintillating tales from paranormal experts. Each tour brings a new author or investigative group to Tinker to share their knowledge and experience in the paranormal field. Many of these speakers have investigated the Cottage and will share their stories throughout the night. Audio clips, video footage and pictures of investigations inside the Cottage and at many other haunted locations are showcased.

Then comes the best part- a tour of Tinker Swiss Cottage and a chance to have your own paranormal encounter! Tour all three floors of the historic house as you listen to stories of Victorian mourning culture, family history and (of course) personal experiences and paranormal encounters that have taken place over the past 70 years.

You are welcome and encouraged to bring your own equipment (cameras, audio recorders, emf).  The first tour is October 2nd, with many to follow. Each tour brings a new guest paranormal expert that is sure to leave you in the “spirit”!

So don’t forget to join us for our 2015 paranormal events!

  2nd: Paranormal Tour,  with Steve Litteral 7-10 pm 
9th: Paranormal Tour with Sylvia Schultz , 7- 10 pm
16th: Paranormal Tour with Kathi Kresol of Haunted Rockford, 7-10 pm
23rd: Paranormal Tour , 7-10 pm
30th: Paranormal Tour, 7-10 pm with Wisconsin and Illinois Paranormal investigation Team (WIPIT) 

Happy Holidays from the Museum Staff and Board!

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Hello Everyone!

We would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

May 2012 be a prosperous year for you and your family, and we hope to see you here at the museum at one of our numerous events!

2012 will be the “Year of the Book” at the museum, and we will share some of the great events that we have coming up soon!

Be safe!

Decorated For Christmas!

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Hello Everyone!

The museum is beautifully decorated for Christmas! Come out and see the museum before we close for general admission tours in January and February!

We are open the last week from Tuesday Dec. 27th through Friday, December 30th, with guided tours at 1 PM and 3 PM!

We will open again for general admission tours on Thursday, March 1, 2012!

We hope to see you soon!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Everyone!

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You better be good!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone from Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens! We hope that your family will have a great holiday and some well-deserved time off. Once you have heard Uncle Sal’s stories for the third time, you can come to visit us and get out of the house. We will be open this weekend (Dec. 18 & 19), closed Monday, and open again from Tuesday to Thursday (Dec. 21-23). We will be open again the following Tuesday to Thursday (Dec. 28-30th). All of our tours are guided, and they leave from the Visitor’s Center (the three-story barn) at 1, 2, and 3 PM. In January and February we will be closed for general admission, but you can still call at least 24 hours ahead of time for a reserved tour. If you are looking for a unique gift, we have antiques for sale on the top floor of the barn and a portion of the proceeds goes to the museum as a donation. I hope Santa is good to you all! I will be expecting my annual bag of coal.

See the Cottage Decorated for Christmas!

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One of the trees at Tinker

On December 3, 2010 (Friday) at 7 PM, we will have an event for members and friends of Tinker. Then, on December 4, at 4:15 PM we have another event where visitor’s can stroll through the newly decorated museum and we will be lighting the community tree. Also, if you have children, we will have a mailbox for Santa if they would like to write a letter to the big guy at the North Pole.

Also, we have many great gifts for Christmas, and specialty Victorian items for your loved ones. Do you like local history? We have plenty of books on that subject as well. On the top floor of the Visitor’s Center, we also have numerous antiques that are from the Roscoe Antique Mall. There are paintings, china, furniture, and numerous other items that will make a unique gift for Christmas. A portion of the antique purchases goes to support the museum. Have a great Christmas season, and we hope to see you here!