• Tinker's Swiss-style Barn

    Robert Tinker constructed a three-story Swiss-style barn in 1873. It housed dairy cows, chickens and their feed.

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  • Swiss Cottage, Looking South

    Robert Tinker built this suspension bridge in 1890. It crosses Kent Creek in Rockford, IL.

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  • Peter Anderson

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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…

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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, Il…

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  • 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 f…

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  • Tinker Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois

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

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  • 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.

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  • Theodore and Jessie Tinker

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

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  • Conservatory fountain

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

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  • 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 C…

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  • Robert H. Tinker

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

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  • Swiss Cottage, Rockford, Illinois

    Robert Tinker landscaped the Railroad Gardens in 1906. A lagoon is in the center of the gardens.

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  • Manny Mansion gardens

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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