Ruthmere was built in 1910 for the Beardsleys, a prominent Elkhart family who founded Miles Laboratories (creators of Alka-Seltzer and One-A-Day vitamins). Named for the Beardsley’s deceased infant daughter, Ruthmere was built on the northern bank of the St. Joseph River.
Once the epicenter of business, political and social life in Elkhart, Ruthmere remains a Beaux Arts gem with nearly all the original furnishings still intact, right down to the draperies. Public tours ($10 per adult) take visitors through the home designed by E. Hill Turnock, who incorporated many architectural elements made popular by his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright,.
Inside, guests can view a large collection of Tiffany stained glass, hand-painted fabric wallpapers, mosaic floors and fine art. Don't miss a look at the rare Choralcelo, part player piano and part pipe organ; the pipes are located in the basement and sound through vents in the library.
Might want to leave the kids at home, though—with this many collectibles on display, tours aren’t really appropriate for young children. However, Ruthmere does host family-friendly events like concerts, garden parties and special exhibtions on the meticulously manicured lawns.