• 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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  • 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 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.

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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 Rose Garden

    A formal rose garden can be seen from a second floor window of Tinker Swiss Cottage in 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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  • 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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  • 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.

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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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  • 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.

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  • David Dawson

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

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  • 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 Co…

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  • 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.

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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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  • 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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  • 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.

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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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  • Swiss Cottage in winter

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

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