Behind the Scenes Tour

Tonight will be the mansion’s 3rd Behind the Scenes tour of the summer! I had the privileged of leading the first Behind the Scenes tour on June 15th. Summer had finally come, and with that, a specialty tour. This tour in particular is unique because guests visiting the Barker Mansion can discover how the mansion operated, explore the basement and peek into rooms that are not seen on the guided tours.

Guest admiring artifacts in the Library

As an interpreter, I have mixed opinions about this sort of tour and I was both excited and nervous about leading people through the archive, the basement where we are currently renovating some of the rooms, and other more personal areas, such as my office located in what would have been a servant’s bedroom in the 1857 part of the house. I was worried that because I would be leading a tour through rooms like the Summer Kitchen and Wine Cellar in the basement, I would not be able to answer as many detailed questions. As I walked through rooms two weeks ago making last minute preparations before guests arrived, I realized that this tour would be more of a challenge- the tour talks more in depth about our relationship with Purdue and has more of a mechanical feel since we discuss the inventions installed in the 1905 edition that were “before their time”. Pictures, blueprints, diagrams, and copies of post cards were set up along my journey to assist me in interpreting the rooms and artifacts.

Students from Purdue North Central when the Barker Mansion served as a center for study

 

For the community, this is a fantastic way to travel back to an era where modern inventions were merely ideas and dreams. The two hour guided tour is a way to comprehend how a different generation operated. My knowledge of the Barker family and the factory are challenged, but a new narrative is created, shedding light on so many questions guests have wondered while touring the mansion. As an interpreter, this tour was a way to share a story that is not told very often.

Space for this tour is limited to the first 15 guests.  Admission prices are $15/Adult & $10/youth.  Doors open 15 min in advance.

 


Emily Reth

Heritage Interpreter

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Pink Tea in the Garden

Summer at the Barker Mansion is here! We are anxiously awaiting some of our newer events such as our Summer Camp and Movie by Moonlight events. For the first time, I will experience the Pink Tea event coming up on June 25th and 26th. Both afternoon teas will start at 3pm.

The Pink Tea has been a Barker Mansion tradition for quite a few years. Traditionally held outside under the pergola, the tea invites a new experience to guests. When the Barkers lived in the mansion over 100 years ago, tea in the garden, whether in the tea house or under the pergola, was not out of the ordinary. At the Pink Tea, guests can imagine what tea with Mrs. Barker and friends could have been like as they enjoy the sites of the garden with their own family and friends.

 

This year’s afternoon tea will be catered by the Duneland Beach Inn. Take a sneak peak at our menu!

The Braur Museum’s Gregg Hertzlieb will be our speaker this year. He will take a look at the captivating artwork of dunes painter Frank Dudley(1868-1957), whose regional contributions in the creative and environmental realms would have been familiar to the Barker Family.

 

 

Reserve your seat at this year’s Pink Tea!

Also new this year, the occasion will include a self-guided first floor tour of the mansion following the event. Advance registration and payment of $32 per adult or $28 per youth (ages 17 and under) is required. Groups can reserve a table of six for $180. Eventbrite processing fees will apply.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pink-tea-in-the-garden-tickets-25618937933

 

 


Emily Reth

Heritage Interpreter