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Tinker Swiss Cottage

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  1. Baby's First Christmas
    Theodore Tinker was adopted by Robert and Jessie Tinker in 1908. His first Christmas was celebrated in the parlor of Tinker Swiss Cottage.

  2. Carnegie Library, Rockford, IL
    Rockford Public Library was made possible by funding from the Carnegie Foundation. Robert Tinker landscaped the grounds facing the Rock River.

  3. Colorado ranch
    Robert Tinker owned a ranch in Morrison, Colorado, during the 1880s. He regularly traveled from his home at the Swiss Cottage, in Rockford, Illinois, visiting various investment properties.

  4. Colorado ranch
    Robert Tinker looks over his ranch in Morrison, Colorado. He had purchased the ranch in 1888 as an investment property.

  5. Conservatory fountain
    In 1882 Robert Tinker induced John Blair to build a rustic stone fountain for the conservatory at the Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois.

  6. Cows in stream
    Three cows near Tinker Swiss Cottage in Rockford, Illinois, wading in Kent Creek. Cows were allowed to roam freely in the city until 1875. The suspension bridge was in place 1870-1890.

  7. Croquet Game
    A nineteenth century croquet game, unknown location, Rockford, Illinois.

  8. David Dawson
    David Dawson was a man of all work for the Tinker family from August 30, 1865 to 1871.

  9. Dorr Family Record
    The Dorr family record shows typical symbolism of the Victorian era and lists birth, death & marriage dates for family members. Mary Dorr married John H. Manny in 1853. Manny died in 1856, and in 1870 she remarried, to Robert Tinker.

  10. Elizabeth McFarlane, W.C.T.U. Home for Children
    Jessie Tinker sponsored benefits for the McFarlane, W.C.T.U. Home for Children, located at 1920 North Main Street, Rockford, IL.

  11. Illinois Central Depot, Rockford, Illinois
    The Illinois Central Depot was located on Kent Creek across from Tinker Swiss Cottage. The Tinker family sold this land to the railroad in the 1880s.

  12. Invitation to Columbian Exposition
    Committee on Ceremonies for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, 1893.

  13. Invitation to Columbian Exposition
    An invitation to the ceremonies to dedicate the buildings for the World's Exposition in Chicago. The opening ceremonies took place October 11-13, 1892. This invitation is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tinker of Rockford, Illinois.

  14. Iris Beds at Tinker Swiss Cottage
    Jessie Tinker grew up to 90 varieties of iris on the grounds of Tinker Swiss Cottage. She often won premium in flower shows.

  15. Jessie Dorr Hurd Tinker
    Jessie Dorr Hurd became Robert Tinker's second wife in 1904. After Robert's death in 1924, Jessie deeded the Cottage and grounds to the Rockford Park District.

  16. John Blair
    John Blair arrived in Rockford, Illinois, in 1853, and worked as a landscape architect for many local residents. He worked for Mary Manny until 1865, when he moved to Chicago. In 1885 Blair was induced to return to Rockford and build a stone fountain in Robert Tinker's conservatory. Portrait of Blair by Robert Tinker.

  17. John H. Manny
    John H. Manny manufactured reapers in Rockford, Illinois. In 1855 he was sued by Cyrus McCormick for patent infringement. Manny hired Abraham Lincoln, Peter Watson, and Edwin Stanton as attorneys and won the case just before he died in 1856.

  18. Manny Mansion
    Mary Dorr Manny purchased this home on South Main Street, Rockford, Illinois, from the Holland family in 1860. This property neighbored that of Tinker Swiss Cottage (built in 1865), separated by Kent Creek. The house was sold to the Illinois Central Railroad and razed in 1900.

  19. Manny Mansion gardens
    Mary Manny's home on South Main Street, Rockford, Illinois, had large formal gardens landscaped by John Blair.

  20. Marcia Dorr
    Marcia Dorr moved into Tinker Swiss Cottage as a teenager. She became her Uncle Robert Tinker's secretary and was a leading figure in many societies in the Rockford, Illinois, community.

  21. Mary Dorr Manny Tinker
    Mary Dorr married John H. Manny on February 1, 1852, and was widowed January 30, 1856. Mary oversaw the Manny Reaper Company and other properties in Rockford, Illinois. She was also involved in local charitable organizations. In 1870 Mary married Robert Tinker & made the Swiss Cottage her home.

  22. McFarlane Children's Home Picnic
    Jessie Tinker supported the McFarlane W.C.T.U. Home for Children and was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.). This benefit luncheon was held on the grounds of Tinker Swiss Cottage.

  23. Peter Anderson
    Peter Anderson was a gardner & man of all work for the Tinker family from May 1, 1867 to 1871.

  24. Railroad Gardens
    Robert Tinker landscaped the Illinois Central Railroad Gardens on the bank of Kent Creek in 1906. The gardens were to beautify the land near the railroad depot.

  25. Reaper model
    Salesmen for reaper companies would travel across the country and use models to demonstrate the product. Robert Tinker worked as a salesman for the Manny Reaper Company when he arrived in Rockford, Illinois in 1856.

  26. Reaper trial trophies
    John H. Manny, inventor and owner of the Manny Reaper Company, Rockford, Illinois, often entered competitions with other manufacturers in the United States and Europe. He often returned to Rockford with silver plated trophy.

  27. Robert H. Tinker
    Robert Tinker was mayor of Rockford, Illinois, for a one year term in 1875.

  28. Robert H. Tinker
    Robert Tinker was a founding commissioner of the Rockford Park District in 1909. He serve on the board until 1923.

  29. Robert Tinker
    Robert Tinker arrived in Rockford, Illinois, in 1856, to work for the Manny Reaper Company as a salesclerk.

  30. Rootwood Table
    This rootwood table was made to be used inside Tinker Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois. Robert Tinker was inspired by Andrew Jackson Downing to surround his Swiss Cottage with rustic furniture made from tree roots and branches.

  31. Second Congregational Church, Rockford, Illinois
    The Tinker family were members of Second Congregational Church. They were very involved in church activities such as the Mission Aid Society and decorating the altar for special occasions.

  32. Swiss Cottage conservatory
    Robert Tinker added a glass greenhouse/conservatory to his Swiss Cottage in 1882. It was used to protect tropical plants during Midwest winters. Robert Tinker landscaped the grounds around the Swiss Cottage as well as other Rockford, Illinois, buildings and parks.

  33. Swiss Cottage in winter
    Tinker Swiss cottage, Rockford, Illinois, in the winter. Construction of the Cottage began in 1865.

  34. Swiss Cottage, Looking South
    Robert Tinker built this suspension bridge in 1890. It crosses Kent Creek in Rockford, IL.

  35. Swiss Cottage, Rockford, IL
    The southeastern side of Tinker Swiss Cottage. A sundial decorates the grounds.

  36. Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois
    Tinker Swiss Cottage, on the limestone bluffs of Kent Creek. Robert Tinker built the Swiss-style house based on architecture he saw in Switzerland during a trip in 1862.

  37. Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois
    Robert Tinker landscaped the Railroad Gardens in 1906. A lagoon is in the center of the gardens.

  38. Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois
    Tinker Swiss Cottage, overlooking Kent Creek.

  39. Swiss-style Barn and Garden
    Robert Tinker built his Swiss-style barn in 1873. The Swiss Cottage in Rockford, Illinois, was a gentleman's farm with vegetable gardens and livestock.

  40. Theodore and Jessie Tinker
    Theodore Tinker was adopted by Jessie and Robert Tinker in 1908.

  41. Tinker Swiss Cottage Gardens
    Tropical plants were popular with Victorian gardeners. The girl is sitting on a rustic bench made from tree roots and branches. Robert Tinker made this after being inspired by Andrew Jackson Downing.

  42. Tinker Swiss Cottage Gardens
    Tinker Swiss Cottage in Rockford, Illinois had extensive grounds including a formal rose garden shielded from the barn by foliage. The grounds are decorated with rootwood furniture.

  43. Tinker Swiss Cottage Grounds
    The Illinois Central Depot was located across Kent Creek from the Swiss Cottage. Passenger train travel was popular during the nineteenth century.

  44. Tinker Swiss Cottage Rose Garden
    A formal rose garden can be seen from a second floor window of Tinker Swiss Cottage in Rockford, Illinois

  45. Tinker Swiss Cottage suspension bridge
    Robert Tinker built the first suspension bridge over Kent Creek in 1870. When it washed out in the 1890 flood, he built this bridge, which stayed in place until 1976.

  46. Tinker Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois
    The grounds of Tinker Swiss Cottage were lush with vegetation. Rustic rootwood furniture decorated the grounds.

  47. Tinker Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois
    The south view of Tinker Swiss Cottage before the conservatory was added in 1882. A skylight is present on the roof to provide natural light to the second floor hallway.

  48. Tinker Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois
    The Swiss Cottage is built on the edge of limestone bluffs overlooking Kent Creek. Stone from area mills were used as planters.

  49. Tinker Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois
    A mill's grindstone was used as a dining table at Tinker Swiss Cottage. View looking west.

  50. Tinker/Dorr Cemetery Monument
    Robert Tinker designed this monument in 1900 for the family plot at Greenwood Cemetery, Rockford, Illinois. Robert Tinker served on the Board of Directors for Greenwood Cemetery.

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