Plum Grove Historic Site – Iowa City, Iowa


 Plum Grove Historic Site – Iowa City, Iowa

Plum Grove in Iowa City was the home of Iowa’s first Territorial Governor, Robert Lucas, and Friendly Lucas, his wife. The seven-room Greek Revival house was constructed of local red brick. The house has been restored with pieces representative of the 1844-1853 period.

The National Society of Colonial Dames of America furnished the home with authentic period pieces, representative of the 1844-53 period. The State Historical Society of Iowa owns and preserves the Plum Grove Historic Site which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Robert Lucas was born in Virginia, moved to Ohio as a young man, and became involved in local politics. During the war of 1812 he distinguished himself for his bravery and skill as a general. After the war he rose through the political establishment to become governor of Ohio 1832-1838. He was appointed territorial governor of Iowa in 1838, a position he held until 1841. Robert Lucas was well known for his temper, as governor of the state of Ohio he once came close to bringing Ohio to war with Michigan over boundaries, and as territorial governor of Iowa he almost brought Iowa to war with Missouri during the "Honey War", again over boundaries.

Lucas built Plum Grove in the country south of Iowa City in 1844, and lived there with his wife, Friendly, and several children and grandchildren. While Robert Lucas aspired to return to the political arena, he had largely fallen out of favor with the political powers in Washington. Lucas died at Plum Grove in 1853, and his family moved out by 1866.

Location: 1030 Carroll St., Iowa City

Hours: Wed – Sun 1-5 Memorial Day weekend – Oct. 31.

Phone: 319-337-6846 or 319-351-5738

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