Iowa Big Students Document History

Students Digitize Iowa Manufacturing Collection

December 20th, 2017

2017-Iowa-Big-Partner-Palooza-6-.jpgBrucemore staff pitched two project ideas to students in the Iowa Big program in September. Iowa Big is a nationally recognized educational partnership between Cedar Rapids area high schools that utilizes the community as a learning laboratory. Area organizations present real-world problems and opportunities to students who form teams with other interested students. The students are granted time and academic credit through their schools to work closely with the organizations for a semester, academic year, or more.

One project that Brucemore pitched and was selected by two teams of students centers on digitizing Brucemore’s collection of Iowa Manufacturing Company materials. Founded in 1923 by Howard Hall, Iowa Manufacturing Company was a driver of industrial growth in Cedar Rapids and of the Interstate Highway system. The company played an important role in WWII, producing 80% of the rock crushing equipment that was used by Allied forces across the globe to create roads, air strips, and military bases. Iowa Manufacturing changed its name to Cedarapids, Inc., in 1985 before being purchased by Terex, Inc., in 1999.

Brucemore received the donation of photographs, documents, advertisements, scrapbooks, films, and other materials related to the company’s history in 2009 when Terex, Inc. was downsizing its Cedar Rapids operation.

The goal of the project is to create an accurate, complete inventory of the Iowa Manufacturing items in Brucemore’s possession that is searchable, leaves both paper and digital records, and facilitates further organization and use of the collection. The students are working under the guidance of Museum Program Manager, Jessica Peel-Austin. They are utilizing digital technology through smartphone applications for the document scanning. Peel-Austin said, “The students have shown tremendous passion and team work skills and are making great progress on making the collection a resource for Brucemore and the community.”

Pictured: Staff presenting to Iowa Big students during the Partner Palooza in September.


Do I need to pay to enter the estate and walk on the grounds?

No. Visiting the Brucemore estate during grounds hours is free. Tickets are only required for scheduled tours and events, and they can be purchased in advance online.

Is a reservation needed to visit Brucemore?

You do not need a reservation to visit the grounds on your own. You do need a ticket to go inside the mansion. We recommend purchasing tickets in advance online or by calling 319-362-7375 for any of our mansion tours or other scheduled special themed tours due to limited capacity. Please visit our calendar to see upcoming opportunities and to purchase your tickets.

Touring the Mansion

Can I take pictures inside the mansion?

Yes. Photography is allowed during tours for personal, non-professional use. Tripods, selfie-sticks, or other photography equipment will not be permitted. Photographs should not distract from others’ enjoyment.

How large is the mansion?

Brucemore is approximately 15,000 square feet.

How many fireplaces, rooms, and floors does Brucemore have?

There are 21 “main” rooms, 14 fireplaces and four floors plus an attic.

Is all of the furniture original to the house and families?

Much of the furniture you will see on display belonged to the second or third families to live at Brucemore; however, some pieces had to be replaced with replicas or similar antiques.

Is the mansion handicap accessible?

The Brucemore mansion includes multiple floors and several staircases. Because of the historic architecture, some spaces are not accessible. Due to preservation work, the wheelchair lift that offers accessibility to the first floor is not available at this time. An elevator is not available from the first floor to the other floors at any time. Learn more about accessibility at Brucemore.

Group and School Tours

Is there an age requirement for students visiting Brucemore?

You do not have to be a certain age to visit or attend a program at Brucemore. Different programs are best suited for different ages. Tours of the mansion are recommended for 4th grade students and older.

Where do we park?

Parking is available on site a short walk from the mansion or carriage house. Buses must follow special instructions. Large events may not be able to accommodate on-site parking; please see the event calendar information for exceptions.

Is bus parking available?

Yes. Bus parking is available near the carriage house. Buses must arrive via special directions as they are unable to fit in our historic gates.

Is there a lunch area at Brucemore?

There are a couple of small picnic tables in the orchard and Adirondack chairs in pairs across the property to utilize during the warmer months. You are also welcome to bring your own blanket or chair to picnic on the grounds. Please carry out any trash to help our small staff keep the grounds beautiful.

Does my group have to arrive together?

Your group does not have to arrive together, however, parking on site is limited.

What is your payment policy?

Brucemore admission for group tours is often requested to be paid prior to the visit and a deposit may be required. Payment can be made by cash, check, or credit card and should be paid in one sum.

Do I need to make an appointment to tour the mansion?

You must have a ticket to a tour or program inside the mansion. Many tours do sell out in advance; purchase online or by calling 319-362-7375 in advance of your visit to guarantee your spot. See the schedule here.

Is the mansion wheelchair accessible?

The mansion is not currently accessible to wheelchairs due to preservation work. The mansion includes multiple flights of stairs. Most of the outdoor areas of the site are accessible. See our full accessibility information and contact us with additional questions regarding your visit.

Can I walk on the property?

Yes, the grounds and gardens are open daily most of the year. Several self-guided interpretive panels are available. See hours here.

What is Brucemore’s ticket policy?

Tickets are non-refundable, but may be rescheduled for comparable programs as space allows. Learn more.

I’m attending a large event at Brucemore. Where do I park?

Large events may require you to park offsite. Please read the event details on the calendar for specific information for each event.

Are weapons allowed at Brucemore?

We prohibit weapons on the property and at programs to ensure the safety and security of all employees and people visiting Brucemore.