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State Historical Society of Iowa
Plum Grove Historic Home

Plum Grove Historic Home

Experience early Iowa history at the home of Iowa's first territorial governor, Robert Lucas. He built this seven-room Greek Revival house in 1844 using local materials. Though it was once part of an 80-acre farm, it is now nestled in an Iowa City neighborhood and furnished by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America with authentic period artifacts common in 1844 to 1853.

Expedition Activities
   + Plum Grove Object Hunt
   + Goldie at Home Activity: Historic Recipes
   + "A Taste of Plum Grove" Recipe
   + Video: Tour of Plum Grove Historic Home
   + The Goldfinch: The Iowa Territory's 150th Birthday
   + Video: "Iowa Government is Formed" (Iowa PBS)

Plum Grove Object Hunt

Goldie flew to the Plum Grove Historic Home the other day and got a bit lost. Help her find her belongings with this Goldie's Kids Club activity sheet

Goldie at Home Activity

This Goldie at Home activity focuses on historic recipes, including Friendly Lucas' plum butter, so preheat your oven and research your own family's food history. Goldie at Home activities connect Iowa history with STEAM education and include easy-to-follow instructions that require few materials.

Watch Videos

Learn more about the legacy of Robert Lucas in Iowa after he was appointed its territorial governor in 1838, and tour the Plum Grove Historic Home via this special video from the State Historical Society of Iowa. 
     + "Iowa Government is Formed" (Iowa PBS)
     + Tour of Plum Grove Historic Home

Taste of Plum Grove

By all accounts, Friendly Lucas was an excellent and resourceful cook, skilled at feeding her husband and children with whatever she could scrounge from the pantry and garden. Follow her recipe for plum butter in this Iowa Culture blog post, "A Taste of Plum Grove," to make a delicious treat at home. 

Discover Additional Resources

President Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the United States of America, appointed Robert Lucas as governor of the Iowa Territory in 1838. Learn more about Lucas' legacy in The Goldfinch: The Iowa Territory's 150th Birthday