Bridge party at Tinker Cottage

In the coming year, Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum will rebuild Robert Tinker’s 19th century suspension bridge across Kent Creek. In honor of that re-creation, the Museum is hosting a “Bridge Party” from 1-5 p.m., Sept. 12. The Museum is looking for interested bridge players to take part in an afternoon of card playing. Don’t play bridge? Bring your own card game and players! Registration is $10 per person and includes a tour of historic Tinker Swiss Cottage, an afternoon of cards, refreshments and prizes. To register, players can call the Museum at 964-2424.

The party is a fund-raiser to help the museum achieve its goal of reconstructing the Tinkers’ landmark suspension bridge. Tinker Swiss Cottage is built on a limestone bluff overlooking Kent Creek. In 1870, Robert Tinker built a swinging bridge across the creek to link his new Cottage with the home of Mary Manny on the far bank. Mary and Robert Tinker were married that same year. In later years, the Illinois Central Railroad bought Mary Tinker’s property and tore down her mansion. Subsequently, Robert Tinker planted elaborate gardens at the far end of his bridge, providing pleasant surroundings for both his family and the railroad passengers who often strolled the grounds. In 1976, the bridge was razed due to its deteriorating condition. Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum has long planned to reconstruct the bridge and is hopeful that construction will begin yet this year. The bridge would be open to visitors by fall 2005. Once it is complete, the Museum will begin restoration of the gardens at the north end of the bridge.

Tinker Swiss Cottage was home to the Tinker family from 1865 until 1942. It has been open to the public as a museum since 1943. Call 964-2424 for more information.

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