The mansion itself was built in 1872 on the site of an old farm. It was designed by both Sarah Davis and Alfred Piquenard, the architect who also designed the state capitol buildings of Iowa and Illinois. The three-story home was a luxurious marvel of its time, having been built with thirty-six rooms, expensive furnishings, running water, a central furnace, and gas lighting.
The home is a museum open to the general public for tours from Wednesday through Sunday. The home hosts many seasonal events including Halloween at Clover Lawn, and The Blessings of the Table at Thanksgiving. During the winter holiday season the mansion is lavishly decorated for the Christmas holiday.