Posted by Liz Nichols on Jan 11, 2018
The speaker was David Janssen, Executive Director of Brucemore Mansion
David Janssen, Brucemore
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
David Janssen-- Cedar Rapids Downtown RC
Mark Ruggeburg-- Iowa City Downtown RC
Amanda and Kate gave an update on the Trivia Night preparations.  It is set for 7 pm on Friday, January 12 at the Clarion Highlander.  There are 23 teams so far and we have about $2500 in cash from registrations.  There will be an email sent to participants with more of the details.
Congrats to Deb Ockenfels for achieving Paul Harris + 6 status and Kris Ockenfels for Paul Harris + 4.  Gary Haymond has reached Paul Harris + 7!
Gary Haymond, Deb Ockenfels, Kris Ockenfels and Phil Peterson
Dick Huber has the costs and plans for the playhouse that will be constructed on the daycare site at an estimated cost of $650.  Those interested in the details should see Dick.
Finally, there will all kinds of Rotarians happy about one thing or another.
Tom Langenfeld introduced David Janssen, the Executive Director of Brucemore.  He has been at Brucemore since 2012 and has 26 years of experience in museum management.  He is originally from the Tiffin area.
Brucemore was built by the widow of Thomas Sinclair, the owner of a meat packing plant in Cedar Rapids.  The house was built in 1886 as a place to raise the Sinclair's many children.  It was sold to the Douglas family in 1907.  That family had connections to Quaker Oats and Penford.  There were a number of family tragedies in the early 1900's, including a brother who died on the Titanic and a plant explosion.  Irene Douglas became a dominant force in the arts in Cedar Rapids in the early part of the 20th century.  Their daughter, Margaret, married Howard Hall in 1924.  Howard was a particular eccentric who kept a lion (Leo) on the estate from 1939-1950.  He ran the Sunday School for many years, which was a good-old-boys club for city political discussions.  In 1981 Margaret Hall died and left the estate to the National Trust.  Brucemore, Inc. runs the estate for the Trust.
Brucemore has a strong tradition of being not only an historic tourist destination in the area, but also a community hub for the Corridor's cultural economy.  Many artists perform there each year and there are many events scheduled to take place within the 7 historic buildings and 26 acres.  The entire estate is available for uses of various kinds.