On Tartan Day, celebrating all things Scottish, visit the Brownlee House at HAM

Photo by Larry Pennington
Photo by Larry Pennington

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.

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