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U.S. History Topics » Ethnic Groups » African Americans

Back Stairs at Brucemore: Life as Servants in Early 20th Century America

looks at the role of servants at a 33-acre estate during the early 1900s. The 21-room mansion was built in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the 1880s with a separate entrance, dining area, and stairs for servants. Servants cleaned house, supervised children, washed laundry, cooked meals, cared for the garden and farm animals, and maintained carriages and cars. Floor plans, photos, and diary excerpts are included. (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)

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Interesting Fact:

When George and Irene Douglas moved to Brucemore in 1906, they had two daughters, Margaret and Ellen. Another daughter, Barbara, was born shortly afterward. The Douglases personalized the estate to meet their needs as a growing family and transformed their home into a fully functioning country estate.
Arial photo of the Brucemore estate located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Brucemore estate

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