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Barker Mansion, Michigan City

#6 of 16 in Things to do in Michigan City
Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · History Museum
The John H. Barker Mansion is a historic home located in Michigan City, LaPorte County, Indiana.
The original house was built in 1857 and is a two-story, brick structure that now serves as the rear wing. Between 1901 and 1905, the main block was constructed. The main house is a 2 1/2-story, maroon brick with limestone trim designed as an English Manor house, with 38 rooms, 10 bathrooms, and seven fireplaces.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It is located in the Haskell and Barker Historic District.
John H. BarkerIn 1836, at the age of 22, John Barker Sr. (1814-1878) arrived in Indiana from Andover, Massachusetts, looking for new business opportunities. He began as a general merchant, expanded into grain brokerage, before opening a commission house to receive and forward merchandise from ships on the lakes. During this time, he married Cordelia G. Collamer (1818-1894) and raised a family. Two children survived him, daughter, Anna, and son, John H. Barker (1844-1910).
Seeing the potential of railroads, he bought an interest in the manufacture of freight cars. Shortly after his purchase in 1855, the company was renamed Haskell & Barker Car Co. The onset of the American Civil War helped the business prosper through government contracts. As the Car Company prospered, Michigan City prospered. When he retired in 1869, his son left Chicago to return as the general manager of the company. Upon Barker Jr.'s death in 1910, the Car Company was prospering such that he was worth an estimated fifty to sixty million dollars. In 1922, "Haskell & Barker" merged with the Pullman Company, and was then known as Pullman-Standard, a division of Pullman, Inc.
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121 reviews
  • It is a self guided tour at this time. They have a movie explaining the family that you start with in the basement. They give you a card explaining the different rooms as you explore. The younger....  more »
  • My wife and I had a wonderful time at the Barker Mansion and the staff was incredible! TJ and Anthony were so knowledgable and were so gracious with us throughout the entire tour. They had definitely....  more »
  • I've lived near the mansion all my life and never known a small fraction of the history. The tour was amazing. I'll need to take it several times to remember just part of it. The tour guide knew everything about the mansion and the grounds. It was a long tour with intricate details that made you understand the life of the opulent at the time. The little intricacies, like the hidden buttons to summon the servants were fascinating. The servants rooms were smaller than jail cells 😬. Light fixtures had both gas and electric service. The Barkers also engaged in philanthropy and built many of the historic landmarks in Michigan City. The mansion also hosts weddings and special events. I took a couple photos before we were told photography was not allowed, so only a couple pics of the tour, sorry. 😞.
  • Super nice Mansion in Michigan City. You can tour it with a guide or on your own. Beautifully restored rooms and artifacts. Allow at least 40 mins inside. Enjoy!

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