Midwest Living Review
Back in the day, only the wealthiest of the wealthy lived in a 35-room house with windows of stained glass, a master staircase of polished wood and enclosed built-in bookshelves. To stay in the meticulously decorated and restored Vrooman Mansion is to get a taste of luxury -- 1900s style. The mansion's five antiques-filled bedrooms cost $100 to $150 a night, including a gourmet breakfast. Depending on the season, offerings include savory waffles with eggs Benedict, spinach-bacon souffle, pecan-pumpkin waffles and cheesecake crepes with fresh mixed-berry sauce. This inn has more than architecture and delicious breakfasts going for it. It's steeped in history. The second owner was the sister-in-law of Adlai Stevenson, vice president under Grover Cleveland, and her daughter Julia (who lived in the home until her death in 1981) was friends with President Woodrow Wilson, poet Vachel Lindsay, orator/politician William Jennings Bryan and playwright Rachel Crothers. According to the innkeeper, all of these renowned visitors once dined at the table where you'll enjoy your breakfast. Julia Vrooman was a woman ahead of her time, starting a jazz band to entertain World War I troops and hosting cocoa parties for Illinois soldiers overseas. Her husband was assistant secretary of agriculture under Wilson and is credited with starting "war gardens" during World War I (later known as Victory Gardens during World War II).