When you think of the Iowa Territory in the 1840s, you may picture farmlands and vast open spaces. It certainly conjures up a pioneering-type feeling. But the Greek Revival style of Plum Grove Historic Home in Iowa City may change all that. For Robert Lucas, who was the first Governor of the Territory of Iowa, and his wife Friendly, it was their family home.
This small solid two-story brick home represents the life they led from 1844 to about 1866. It was comfortable and befitting of their stature in the community, even without any closets. The front hall has lovely woodwork and a grandfather clock.
One of the most interesting facts was that the original land, all 360 acres, was owned by Friendly. It was unusual for women to own property outright; husbands, fathers or brothers usually had the land.
Today, tours are open to the public, where furnishings are placed to give a glimpse into how the home would have looked in the mid-19th century. Visitors to the site can also tour the historic vegetable and flower gardens which are both part of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens.