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ERIC Number: ED475999
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 49
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Back Stairs at Brucemore: Life as Servants in Early 20th-Century America. Teaching with Historic Places.
Alexander, Melanie; Pustz, Jennifer
When friends and family visited the Douglas family at Brucemore in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, they had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and grace of the mansion's public places. On its 33 acres, Brucemore had a duck pond, swimming pool, tennis courts, and large formal gardens, besides its 21 extravagant rooms and furnishings. Domestic servants were integral to the sophistication and decorum, much less the functionality, of the Brucemore estate their work touched every part of the estate. During the years the Douglas family made Brucemore their home, 10 or more people maintained the mansion and grounds at any given time. This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places property, "T. M. Sinclair Mansion" (or Brucemore) as well as primary and secondary materials available at Brucemore. The lesson can be used in units on the Gilded Age. It is divided into eight sections: (1) "About This Lesson; (2) "Getting Started: Inquiry Question"; (3) "Setting the Stage: Historical Context"; (4) "Locating the Site: Maps" (Cedar Rapids, 1906; Brucemore Estate, 1911-1928); (5) "Determining the Facts: Readings" (Servants at Brucemore; Danny's Diary; Comparing Period Sources); (6) "Visual Evidence: Images" ( 10 photographs taken at Brucemore); (7) "Putting It All Together: Activities" (Ideal and Real; Built-In Service; Factory Work vs. Domestic Service; Preserving the Past); and (8) "Supplementary Resources." (BT)
National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1201 Eye St., NW, 8th Floor (MS 2280), Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-354-2213; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Park Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC. National Register of Historic Places.
Identifiers - Location: Iowa