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Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens

Address: 411 Kent Street, Rockford, IL
Phone Number: +1 815-964-2424
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Ranked #10 of 14 Attractions in Rockford
Type: Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: Tinker Swiss Cottage is a historic house museum located in the heart of Rockford, Illinois. The museum complex contains the historic house museum, barn, and carriage house from the Tinker family. In addition, the property is the home of the founding site of Rockford and contains a Pre-Columbian Native American conical mound.

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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Belvidere, Illinois
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
20 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

The story behind the Tinker Swiss Cottage is that the man who built it lived in a mansion nearby with his wife (unfortunately, the mansion has been torn down). He decided that he would like to build a little cottage for himself, although they both moved back and forth depending on the season. This cottage has many more rooms than... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Rockford, Illinois
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

First let me say the house was beautiful, other than that I would like my money back! I went to the European exhibitionand whoever put the displays together did an awful job! Looked like some a kid would do. Really RPD maybe you should hire better staff!

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Ashley D, Public Relations Manager at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens, responded to this review

We are very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your visit. We are glad to hear that you thought the house was beautiful! I must clarify that your exhibit on the Traveling Tinkers WAS put together by grade school students, specifically those in the 3rd-5th grade classes. It was designed in conjunction with our Tinker to the Schools... More

Scotts, Michigan
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
24 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

Now, during the winter, is the time to visit. Jo, an awesome docent, gave a tour of a beautiful house where you are able to see everything up close (no ropes) and photos without flash are allowed. Many wonderful stories regarding the Tinker-Dorr families made the home alive. If you enjoy the Victorian Age, inventions, art, and beautiful craftsmanship, this... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Glendale, Arizona
Top Contributor
211 reviews 211 reviews
63 attraction reviews
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

I don't know what advertisement I was looking at to lead me here, but thought this more of an amusement and historical site with slide-down shutes. Anyway, I took the tour in a fairly large group. It left right on time. It went both fast and slow. The tour guide got us into and out of rooms quickly, but once... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Rockford, Illinois
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

Tinker Swiss Cottage is such a treasure to the Rockford/Rock River Valley. The care that is taken with all the items that actually belonged to the Tinkers is seen in every room. It is not often that a museum has contents of the occupants of the home. The grounds are beautiful, and in the spring and summer the flowers are... More

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Near Chicago, IL
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

To say that Tinker Swiss Cottage is unique would be an understatement. The house reflects its owner in nearly every aspect: design, construction, decoration and artwork. Merely hearing the stories of Mr. Tinker's many abilities and gifts isn't sufficient. You must see the incredible design as it sits on a rock cliff overlooking the creek, see the masterful portraits he... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Rockton, Illinois
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
14 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

This place was on the show Ghost Hunters and they say they found some strange happenings here. I believe it! This place is so cool and full of history but I think it is haunted. Gives me the willies just driving by. Take the brave kids and go for a spook.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Portland, Connecticut
Top Contributor
173 reviews 173 reviews
54 attraction reviews
183 helpful votes 183 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

I would have given this a higher rating but it was so crowded the day we visited here that it was impossible to really appreciate it and there are no signs to tell you what you are seeing. It is Victorian and has lots of original furniture and family items. Avoid visiting when there are tour buses.

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bloomington, IL
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
7 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

This house/museum complex is something unlike you usually see in other house tours. The house looks very Swiss on the outside and somewhat on the inside, but very much of the design of the late 1800 Victorian era is also evident. What makes this house so wonderful is that ALL the contents and the house were donated to the City... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Rockford, Illinois
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

This well maintained Swiss cottage will take you to the old times where you can see and imagine how a rich family was living back then. Mr. Tinker really left us a wonderful contribution. My family and I went in February so we couldn't appreciate the gardens. This museum is mainly for adults or teenagers and not for kids. The... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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