Plum Grove Historic Site
Backstory and Context
The Plum Grove house was built in 1844 for Robert Lucas and his family. Lucas was a politician originally from Ohio where he served as Governor from 1832-1836. Then he was appointed by President Van Buren as the first governor of the Territory of Iowa from 1838-1841. Robert Lucas ran for congress in 1844 but was defeated. He and his wife Friendly built Plum Grove on 366 acres of land in Iowa City. Robert Lucas remained on the property until his death in 1853. Friendly Lucas sold the house and surrounding area in 1866. 
The home was named Plum Grove by the Lucas family possibly for the several acres of plum trees in the orchard on the property. After the family sold the property, it changed hands several times until it was purchased by the State of Iowa in the 1940’s and “remodeled as a memorial to Gov. Lucas.”  Archaeological excavations have been conducted at Plum Grove since 1974 by several archaeologists. Tours of the home and grounds are available during the summer months courtesy of the Johnson County Historical Society.