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Palmer Family Residence

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The Palmer Family Residence (or Mansion) on the Palmer campus has been preserved by the College because of its place in Iowa history, Davenport history and chiropractic history.

The Residence was home to B.J. and Mabel Palmer from 1912 until their deaths, Mabel in 1949 and B.J. in 1961. Their son  Dave was raised in the house, and it was also home to various relatives that spent summers with "Uncle B.J." and "Aunt Mamie."

Chess Set in Mansion

The Residence was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 because of the uniqueness of the porch, a showplace of the Palmer collections. Although the house only holds a fraction of the collections once owned by the Palmers, it is still a wonderful example of the collecting mania that gripped the world travelers of that era.

FAQs - Tour the Palmer Family Residence (or Mansion)

Where is the Palmer Family Residence located?

The address is 808 Brady Street, Davenport, Iowa. It is located on the corner of Brady and West 8th streets. Tours meet in the Residence Courtyard.

When are tours available?

Every Friday when classes are in session we have guided tours at 11:10 a.m. Outside of this time, we schedule tours by appointment. Tours are available Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm.  During College celebrations such as Homecoming or graduations, we have additional tour times to accommodate more visitors.

Graduation tour times are from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday before Graduation, as well the day of Graduation from 2-4 pm. Reservations are not required for these special Graduation tours.

Homecoming tours vary by year, so please check your Homecoming schedule. Due to the large number of visitors wishing to tour during Homecoming, we pass out free tickets for all tours that week. To pick up your free ticket, please visit us in the Residence courtyard during Homecoming.

How do I schedule a tour?

Tours are available Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm.  To schedule a tour, please call us at 563-884-5714.  We request that you allow 24 hours notice for all tours. 

Who can visit the Palmer Family Residence?

The Residence is open for anyone wishing to tour. Please note that there are steps leading into the home and one room that is down a small set of stairs. We do not have a ramp or wheelchair lift into the home at this time. Properly supervised children are welcome.

Is there a fee?

To help keep the residence open for tours, we request $5 per person. Current students receive a discounted rate. Renovations to the Residence are supported by donations. 

What will I see on the tour?

Guided tours are approximately one hour in length and tour the entire first floor of the Residence. Most of the rooms are set up how the Palmers had them while they lived here. Many artifacts are on display throughout the tour.

You can see:

  • An Aeolian Pipe Organ with over 1,000 individual pipes
  • Many intricate ivory chess sets
  • Items from around the globe
  • Something different every time you tour!

A group called the Friends of the Mansion helps in the preservation and conservation of the house and its grounds.

For questions regarding the Residence and tour times, please call (563) 884-5714.

Bus Tours

A tour of the Palmer Family Residence takes approximately one hour. Groups of 15 will be started at 15-minute intervals. Those waiting may enjoy the Residence Courtyard in good weather, or Purgatory provides a sheltered waiting area. There are steps upon entering the house as well as the Solarium. Folding chairs are available throughout the Residence for a quick rest. There is a small gift shop.

The Residence is located at 8th and Brady streets. Tour groups may be dropped off in the loading dock area on the north side of 8th Street between Brady and Main streets. If Purgatory is open, you may use the stairs on the south side; if Purgatory is not open, go around to the Brady Street side of the house and through the gateway to the Courtyard.

If the driver remains with the bus, it may remain in the loading dock area. If not, the bus should be moved to Palmer College's visitor parking lot. Go north on Main, right on Palmer Drive, across Brady, and turn right into the parking lot.

The required deposit is due two weeks after receipt of the contract (unless specified differently on the contract).

All monies will be refunded if the Palmer Foundation for Chiropractic History has been notified in writing at least 30 days prior to the tour date (unless specified differently on the contract).

Final count and final balance is due 30 days prior to tour date. You may add during those 30 days, but there are no refunds after the 30-day period has started.

Checks or credit card are accepted for deposit and final payment.

Prices for 2019 are as follows:

  • Admission is $5 per person.
  • Bus drivers and escorts (who receive complimentary tours) will not be counted in the totals.

Groups larger than 15 people, please inquire.
Please call 563-884-5714

Contact Us

Roger Hynes
Contact Dr. Hynes with questions about the Osteological Collection or potential donations of chiropractic artifacts

Julie Knaak
Contact Julie with questions regarding Mansion tours, reference questions and related topics

Tour Information
Prices: $5/person

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