Tinker with valentines!

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum invites you to craft your own Victorian valentines at the Museum Sunday, Feb. 5, from 1 to 4 p.m.

During “Tinkering with Valentines,” young and young at heart museum visitors can make a Victorian paper lace valentine or drop valentine. Before the cards were widely available in stores, many Americans made their own valentines at home. If they couldn’t think of a sweet poem or saying, they could find suggestions in books and magazine articles published just about writing valentines. A young Robert Tinker may have been familiar with homemade valentines. In 1851, a teen-aged Robert wrote in his diary, “Valentine’s day—Received four valentines.”

In addition to the chance to make your own version of a historic valentine, all tours of the Cottage feature Hands-on Baskets, making the experience more memorable for all ages. Located in rooms throughout the historic building, the Hands-on Baskets contain objects for visitors to touch. Being able to closely investigate and handle reproduction items from everyday life from the 1800s to the early 1900s gives people a better understanding of everyday life in the era.

Sunday, Feb. 5, Family Day activities are included with regular admission ($5 adults; $4 seniors; $2 children 5 to 17; children younger than 5—no charge).

Robert H. Tinker built his splendid Swiss Cottage overlooking Kent Creek after a trip to Europe in 1862. Regular tours are offered Tuesday-Sunday at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. daily. Tours for groups of eight or more are available by reservation seven days a week. Open Tuesday through Sunday year-round, Tinker Swiss Cottage is at 411 Kent St., Rockford, IL 61102. For more information, call Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum at (815) 964-2424.

From the Feb. 1-7, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!