MICHIGAN CITY — Following an extended closure tied to renovation work, Barker Mansion has now reopened and is scheduling the following events for the coming days:
• Summer Building Barker Architecture Tour
Missed the January Building Barker architecture tour? Don't worry. The tour is back this May, starting Saturday, and this time the program also includes a tour of the mansion garden. Learn the new history of the Barker Mansion gardens and its renowned designer, Jens Jensen. Explore Jensen's design process using the original drawing from 1909; see how the mansion gardens have changed over the last century and encounter the work being done to return Jensen's vision to 631 Washington St.
The first hour of the program consists of a tour of the garden as well as a talk on the life and work of Jens Jensen. The second half of the program is an architectural tour of the interior of the mansion. Refreshments will be served. The tour begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and last two hours. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for senior/youth. Tickets can be reserved online on Eventbrite or by calling the Barker Mansion at 219-873-1520.
• Silk Stocking Row Walking Tour
On May 25 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. stroll through history in the mansion's first summer 2019 walking tour! This month’s tour will explore the architecture and history of the neighborhood around the Barker Mansion, called ‘Silk Stocking Row’ in the Barkers’ time. Learn about the millionaires and movers of historic Michigan City as well as the immigrant workers built their fortunes and the city, all of whom shared this vibrant neighborhood, now a national historic district. The tour leaves the Barker Mansion at 10:30 a.m. and covers approximately one mile. In the event of rain, a special mansion tour will be offered in place of the walking tour. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online on Eventbrite or by calling the Barker Mansion at 219-873-1520.
• First Friday Art Walk
Join Barker Mansion as they feature a local artist the First Friday of every month in celebration of the Frist Friday Art Walk. They’ll have a portion of the mansion open for free viewing, as well as the gardens. Light refreshments will be served.
The events will be June 7, July 5, Aug. 2 and Sept. 6 from 5 to 8 p.m.
• Immigration History Walking Tour
On June 15, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Barker Mansion's walking tour will explore the immigrant heritage of Michigan City. Learn about the harsh daily life of immigrant workers in the Haskell and Barker Car Company, grasp the historical development of Michigan City’s immigrant neighborhoods, and explore how European and Middle Eastern immigrants planted their cultures in rapidly industrializing Michigan City. The tour leaves the Barker Mansion at 10:30 a.m. and covers approximately one mile. In the event of rain, a special mansion tour will be offered in place of the walking tour. Tickets can be purchased online on Eventbrite or by calling the Barker Mansion at 219-873-1520.
• Root Beer Floats
Aug. 6 is National Root Beer Float Day! From 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 6, learn about the history of the root beer float and enjoy a root beer in Purdue Room of the Barker Mansion. Cost is 2/person. Registration is required via Eventbrite or by calling the mansion at 219-873-1520 x5.
• Kids Summer Camp
From July 23-26, kids, join Barker Mansion for their annual summer history camp. Campers will dig into Michigan City’s past through immersive learning experiences, both at the mansion and off-site. Each day includes a snack, a craft and fun. Ideal for ages 8 and up. Cost is $50 and includes a Barker Mansion T-shirt.
• Jens Jensen and the Barkers
On June 8 at 11 a.m., join Barker Mansion in the mansion garden for a talk on the life of renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen and the work he did for the Barkers in 1909. Jensen was a prominent landscape architect at the turn of the century who designed much of the Chicago Parks West system including Humboldt Park. In the early 1900s, Jensen was instrumental in the fight to save the Indiana Dunes. In his private practice, he also designed gardens for many of Frank Lloyd Wright's homes as well as the Henry Ford estate, and in 1909 he also designed the Barker Mansion gardens.
Refreshments will be served in the garden and guests will be able to view Jensen’s original drawings done for the Barkers in 1909. In the event of rain, the program will be moved indoors. The program begins at 11 a.m. and runs approximately 90 minutes. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and youth. The ticket price also includes admission to either a self-guided or guided tour of the 35,000 square foot interior of the Barker Mansion at the conclusion of the talk. Tickets can be reserved online on Eventbrite or by calling the Barker Mansion at 219-873-1520. For more information, visit barkermansion.com or call 219-873-1520.
• Elston Grove Walking Tour
On June 15, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., explore the architecture and history of the Elston Grove historic district. See the homes of Michigan City's Gilded Age elites, learn the history of Michigan City's first public library, and dive into the vivid history of Zorn Brew Works. The tour leaves the Barker Mansion at 10:30 a.m. and covers approximately one mile. In the event of rain, a special mansion tour will be offered in place of the walking tour. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online on Eventbrite or by calling the Barker Mansion at 219-873-1520.
The Barker Mansion is located at 631 Washington Street in Michigan City. Visit www.barkermansion.com for details.