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Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum

Rockford, IL

4 (3 reviews)

Where are we going?

Address: 411 Kent St, Rockford, IL 61102, USA How do we get there? Number: 815 964 2424
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About this activity

The USA is full of history, and some history you might not know about! The Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum is an incredible treasure trove of a time gone by. Built all the way back in 1865 by business man Robert Hall Tinker (that's a pretty long time ago!), the house is perched high on a limestone bluff which overlooks the very pretty Kent Creek.

The inspiration came from his 1982 visit to Switzerland, which kids, is in Europe, where he loved the look of those very postcard looking Swiss cottages. And Tinker Swiss Cottage was born!

Now, it's only one of a handful of very beautiful and historic Swiss-style homes from the 1800s that exist in the entire country! So it's certainly a home worth exploring.

The cottage is filled with beautiful Victorian Era furnishing and artifacts, which are all part of the collection that was left by the Tinker family. 27 acres of vines, trees, and flowers surround the cottage, so you certainly will be in for a nature filled day out!

During your time at the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, it's not all about the cottage - but it's certainly all about history! Did you know that the museum campus actually contains an Indian Burial Mound? This Pre-Columbian conical mound has been dates to between 1000 - 1300 ACE (about 1000 years ago!) so that's pretty impressive.

The grounds also has a Victorian Rose Garden, as well as a suspension bridge which crosses the creek, and connects the Museum  to the gardens. It also links to the founding site of Rockford - a pretty important mark! 

For more education, try and visit during some of the museums events - from life as a domestic servant in the 19th century, to the paranormal in the cottage! Spooky! Of course, there are really fun nights like the Murder Mystery evenings. Who donnit!

History, architecture, and fascination will all be a part of your day at the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum. Let us know if you spot a ghost! Boo!

Activity location


The cottage is found at 411 Kent Street at Rockford. There is parking around the back of the barn.

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How much does it cost?









Seniors $6


Free Under

5 years.


Last Updates


Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum FAQ’s

The museum are dedicated to preserving the history, and telling the stories of the Tinker family. Help them out by following their no touching rules and taking care of all the amazing items on display!

No flash photography permitted, handling artifacts and touching furniture prohibited too, so give consideration as to whether your kids would be happy on this tour.

There is a Museum Store on site for gifts and souvenirs - great to continue your education back home about this amazing part of history!

For $5 per student there are tours of the cottage, and for $6 they get a topic focused tour with a hands-on activity. One adult is $7 per 10 students. They will take you through a guided tour and explore all three levels. An amazing experience for kids.

Due to the nature of the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, accessibility is limited. There are no ramps leading into the museum nor elevators inside the museum.

The Barn, where all tours begin, is wheel chair accessible. A wheelchair is also available free of charge. Visitors using wheelchairs or strollers may be dropped off at the Barn, with free handicapped parking nearby.

For those requiring assistance with hearing, vision or other disabilities, you must contact the Museum no less than 48 hours in advance for suitable accommodation.

Any of the lectures are $5 on Saturday afternoons at 1pm, but are free for members or volunteers!

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