Today is Tartan Day, designated to celebrate the contributions of Scots everywhere.
One of Little Rock’s oldest structures, the Brownlee House was built by a Scotsman. The Brownlee House is one of the restored structures at Historic Arkansas Museum.
Robert Brownlee built this Federal style brick house in the late 1840s for his brother and sister-in-law. A Scottish stonemason, Brownlee came to Little Rock in 1837 to help build the State House (now the Old State House Museum). He pursued a number of careers before leaving for California in the 1849 Gold Rush. From the late 1840s through 1852, the home’s residents were James and Isabelle Brownlee and Tabby, a woman enslaved by James Brownlee.
Brownlee had the wooden mantels in the parlor and bedroom marbleized, a popular decorative art of the time. The home’s furnishings reflect the mid-19th century.
This house is a project of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Arkansas.
Historic Arkansas Museum is open seven days a week. The galleries are free, but the tours of the historic structures have a nominal fee. It is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.