The Scott-Vrooman Mansion, or, as it is more commonly known, the Vrooman Mansion, is the former home of Scott and Vrooman families. The Scotts were a business family that played a key role in the development of the Bloomington area. The Vroomans, which were descended from the Scotts, were a powerhouse couple that were active in politics and world affairs. The Victorian era mansion is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also a bed and breakfast.


The mansion was built in 1869 as the home of Matthew and Julia Scott, and their two daughters, Letitia and Julia.  The Scotts were already a prominent family in Bloomington.  They owned 8,000 acres of farmland and a coal mine.  On top of all that, they had family connections to politics, since Julia Sr. was the sister-in-law of Adlai Stevenson, a man that would later become Vice President under Grover Cleveland.  Matthew later died in 1891 and Julia Sr. took on his many business ventures, successfully running the estate until her own death in 1923.  After she died the house went to Julie Jr. and her husband, Carl Vrooman, since Letitia was already living with her husband in St. Louis.
 
Julie had first met Carl in 1894 while on a trip on the French Riviera and the two fell in love.  He proposed to her during a moonlit ride on a gondola in Venice and the couple were married at Letitia's home in 1896.  The then went on to live a life of philanthropy and civil service.  Carl became the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture under President Woodrow Wilson during WWI and advocated for the planting of "War Gardens."  He also ran a project that sent a million bushels of corn to the starving people of war-torn Europe, and act that led to him being heroically decorated by the Polish government.  If Carl seemed impressive, then Julia was absolutely his equal.  She was a well-known writer that published travel essays and a novel, The High Road to Honor.  During WWI, she formed a jazz band, which she also performed in, and traveled to the American zones throughout Europe, playing to lift the troops spirits up.  After the war, the couple became active in various societies in Bloomington, such as the McLean County Historical Society and the Community Players Theater.  Carl died in 1963, right before their 70th wedding anniversary, and Julia died in 1981 at the age of 104.

The Vrooman Mansion is a bed and breakfast that offers five rooms to stay at inside the mansion and two rooms is the nearby carriage house.  Along with the usual B&B amenities, the mansion also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including tea parties, cooking classes, garden tours, and holiday open house tours.  The mansion is a comfortable and historic place to stay when visiting Bloomington.  It is a good way to immerse yourself in the area's history, even when you are resting.  

"History." Vrooman Mansion. Accessed June 17, 2016. http://vroomanmansion.com/history.html "Carl Shurz Vrooman and Julia Scott Vrooman." McLean County Museum of History. Accessed June 17, 2016. http://mchistory.org/research/resources/carl-and-julia-vrooman.php "Mansion Events." Vrooman Mansion. Accessed June 17, 2016. http://vroomanmansion.com/specialevents/mansionevents.html