Hauberg Estate

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Hauberg Estate


[Music] my name is deb kuntzi k-u-n-t-z-i and can you tell us a fun fact about yourself fun facts about myself oh let's see um well i've volunteered since i was 18 years old so volunteers came in in my blood always been a preservationist i always lived in an old house and i'm on rock island preservation commission right now for the second time so i have a huge interest in in preservation and saving old homes how did you end up in this position that you have now well i was always pretty active in the city of rock island on commissions and things like that since we moved here in uh 1989. um they used the city of rock island used to have neighborhood a lot of neighborhood involvement within the city on commissions and boards and and i was very active on those in 2015 i had heard that they were going to put hauberg up for surplus um for about five years i wasn't volunteering for anything which is very unusual for me being that i've done it my whole life so um i went to a broadway board meeting i live in the broadway historic district and i went to a broadway board meeting and because they were talking about knowing someone in the family that was going to solve this and they gave me her name um she still she was a great niece of the haubergs and i said you know there's a there's a wealth of information uh from the people in the neighborhood and the people in the city if you need any help any information because i heard the city was going to fight for auburn to try and keep it within within the city and not it be being sold she contacted me and said we want you to do this well i thought they were going to do it but so i was like i haven't done anything in five years so okay people ask me how i formed our board and i didn't really form our board um they just came and there was a lot of people with that with a lot of experience within the city and within preservation and and um we fought for fort harbor just to save it and we won um so i was president of the non-profit friends of robert for about two years and then i was hired on as executive director how did you get to the quad cities where you choose like rock island well i'm originally from mendota illinois and then my husband uh this was from here so um i moved out here um i had always said i wanted a an old victorian farmhouse actually which are very hard to find you can't find them anymore um and there was a person that i knew that was um selling her house on 20th street and it's the adhesion house i'm using if you know husing his pepsi bottling company um and my son was getting married and i was looking at the house for my son and future daughter-in-law and i walked in the front door and i said no this isn't this is your house this is mine so so we ended up buying it it was three apartments and um we restarted all so yeah yeah that's how that and and rock island just has a ton of old homes i mean i said i live in a broadway historic district it's just you know there's a lot of neat homes in broadway so but we've been there for 20 23 years what is your favorite part about the quad cities history oh there's so much history in the quad cities there really is i mean it's people don't realize how much history there's actually here my favorite of course would probably be here because um for decades there was no information really being spread about what the haubergs did for the community um being that she was a lumber heiress her dad and warehouser started um denman wirehouse or lumber in the 1800's the largest lumber mill in the united states was here in rock island um a lot of people don't realize that we do a lot of tours here and you know we're gradually informing them of what they did but the harbor and say i mean the black hawk historic site blackhawk hiking club ymca ywca um you know they did they did a ton of things for kids and their history philanthropy was unbelievable what impact are you hoping to have on the qc community in the future possibly um i don't think history should be lost like i said it's been decades since people have been informed of the history that we have you know around here um i want hauberg to become a destination um we're in the process right now of putting in a room capital campaign and we're going to be doing a children's art garden we have a three acre terrace garden that and the whole landscape is a johns jensen design a lot of people don't know johns jensen do you know john johnson okay jones jensen did a lot actually started the parks in chicago garfield park and i mean just if you look him up he he was very influential and then he got sick of the politics of chicago and decided to um do estates so he did the ford estates all ford's families estates he did about 3,500 estates and there's only 35 left in its entirety and we have one rock island people don't realize that a lot of times they get they get cut up and sold off and we don't have that here so yeah that i people need to realize what's here so my goal is to really make this a destination is to help it help tourism here um it's very possible with this estate we're getting more and more people out of chicago that are coming in and wanting to see it could you tell us a bit more about the history of this house in general in the estate well like as i mentioned it was um this is this is suzanne duncan her father and was in partnership with weyerhaeuser the largest lumber mill in the united states in 1905 her dad died they had 10 years to decide if they were going to still partner with warehouser and in three years they decided to sell out so there were seven kids in the family suzanne was the youngest they all became multi-millionaires at that time um she was 39 when she got married to john hopper um so basically this house was built by suzanne um it was her money he was an attorney but um they kind of built their own little empire they really did they did a lot of good things with the money so all the pictures that you see even behind me john was an avid photographer and um didn't seem without a camera around his neck and he took all these pictures that are in this room uh there's a hundred thousand photographs and glass slides at special collections in augustana it's their largest collection that they have it's the hot blue collection so suzanne died in 1942 and john died in 1955 and in 1956 the two kids that they had donated um the house and all the land uh to the city of rock island so the city of our family still owns it but we are friends of hauberg and we have an operational agreement for 10 years with the city of rock island so we have a public private partnership that actually works out really well they don't have the staff to to you know take care of a place like this and we have a lot of very passionate people on the board and in the community so in 2019 we had 5,900 volunteer hours uh community loves this place they love it they don't want to see it go away we're doing them it's neglected for a long time it's it's a 20 000 square foot mansion 8 000 square foot carriage house and it sits on 10 acres so a lot of people realize that it's here sometimes so our non-profit what we do to to raise money um is we do a lot of weddings and baby showers and bridal showers and celebration life and graduations and so we hold a lot of events here we also have fundraisers here but i think we've done really well in keeping with the integrity of the historic nature of it the house dictates what we can do here we're not a big ballroom you know we are a mansion so um it's not for everyone but it's a it's a pretty magical place it truly is we're kind of curious to know more about um if you're related to other german centers here in the city well the fun part about that is uh we're having oktoberfest and we have partnered with the german american heritage center um which is really cool um it is it's you know haubergs were german now the haubergs gave to the anti-saloon league they were very against drinking suzanne built the western settlement over in the west end of rock island for abused women and she did that because during that time period a lot of the men would go to work at the end of the week they would get paid and then they would drink and they were really kind of abusive and take care of the families and so she started the western settlement the building is still there but so she yeah they were totally against drinking but her kids were not [Laughter] her kids were not and uh there was no alcohol allowed here until we actually started the non-profit we wanted to partner with german american heritage for the for oktoberfest um it was it was kind of fun because you know german american heritage doesn't have a whole lot of room and they used to have an oktoberfest like on their fourth floor and it just wasn't big enough and i mean we had we had so much land and so we decided that we would partner with that and have have oktoberfest this year it's the first saturday of the um of october and we're also going to have a vintage football game um the same one that happens at douglas park um he's going to do one here so on that day all afternoon will be kids and and more of a family thing and then five o'clock the fun starts so one little question that we all were wondering is has there been any ghost stories or is this house known to be haunted well we do a um we were doing paranormal tours um spirits and bites is what we call it and um we at one year um we actually made ten thousand dollars with these tours they were they're very popular um and they always say that the nurse and the nanny this is the and you were in you were actually in the nurses room so the nurse in the nanny um they always said that they were here i my office is on the third floor i hear steps all the time but i don't know i mean all the time always ever since i've been here there's groups that have been here even prior and the city over in the carriage house the second floor is a 2 600 square foot apartment it was the drivers uh he never liked to be called a chauffeur it was andrew his name is andrew um and he lived there because he took care of the cars and he took care of the horses so there's an auto house side and a carriage house side on the first floor and then his apartment was the whole second floor and then there was a greenhouse which got torn down but that he was in charge of all of that so he was the driver slash gardener every time there was a paranormal group here they would go over there i i didn't go over there i mean i i've gone over there before but i needed to go over there and they said it's really really creepy over there and it's really scary over there and there's this guy there and he's really scary and and they were all like totally just freaked out all the time i'm like i've gone over there i didn't feel anything it's like okay um well we had a murder mystery here and the we had a medium here it was actually a guy that was a tarot card and then a medium and he'd never been here before and it was like midnight and i was ready to go home we just won our uh advocacy award from landmarks illinois in chicago and we had to come back and do this murder mystery and it was like i was right i was i was ready to go home and it was like the todd who was our board chair said oh let's let's see if he wants to go to the carriage house okay i said it's midnight i was like okay so we didn't tell him anything and he's just the first time he's ever been here um he did tell us that miss ross and miss vogt who are the nurse in the nanny that he would see them walking around the house we'd be behind people but when we asked him to go over the carriage house we started walking and halfway there he went oh oh and i was like what and he didn't say anything we got by the pure chest door and he said there's a guy in my face right here this close and he's telling me i have to ask before i come in and i said is it andrew and he's like yeah ty and i will be over there and we walk out because it's so loud in the back and we're thinking what's going on out there you know and we go back and we go around there's nothing there there's a road there but there are no cars that come by no trucks has gone by nothing and it's just it's we have literally walked out because it was like what's going on and he'll tap on pipes he'll do things like that but we know he's there so what we do now is when we know that other people are going to be there we tell them that he can't scare people he said we're trying to fix this place up andrew you cannot scare you cannot scare people and he doesn't so yeah so that is the haunted stories and and really in in the house um nothing is really um they're all pretty nice the medium actually told me that when i get stressed out about things here that suzanne actually helps me i'm like okay works for me so now so so it's not haunted to a point of you know they're always scaring you or something we've actually had these groups to where um they'll come in and they set up they were in they were in the tulip room the room the big room downstairs they turned up all the lights and they have these little machines that blink that supposedly if somebody's in there and you know i just kind of let them do their thing you know all the lights are off in the house and everything and so i i walk in and they were talking about miss ross who was um who was the nanny and john didn't like miss ross um he didn't like her because she sat at the table with them and but she was actually um the nurse and the nanny suzanne had epilepsy so there was always a nurse and a nanny around and i walked in and they said i s and i saw a blinking and they said oh miss ross is here and they said oh i said john didn't like her and this machine went absolutely because it was absolutely berserk it was like i was like oh and it was like so then i just started to talk to her and it was just blinking the whole time and when i left it stopped so you know i don't know you know i i don't know about that but it's kind of fun there's nothing like horrible that happens it's just all kind of weird stuff what importance do you think the mansion will have when you come here oh i think i said i think it will be a tourist destination i really do the more and more that we do here uh fixing the ponds the gems jensen's significance um the terraced garden that we think it's probably the largest terrace garden here we get it's three acres so once the children's garden starts we're also in preliminary talks with an outdoor nature play educational classroom for preschool kids so there's not another one like that in the quad cities and who gets to come and play on 10 acres you know so i think i think it has a really good history coming up can you tell us more about the quad cities museum week that happened yeah um we were only open tuesday wednesday and thursday because um we had it was our first weekend since the pandemic since we opened so we had an event friday saturday and sunday and um yeah that was like a 160 person reception rehearsal dinner reception and it was just like you know coming back after not having any events at all and then having that amount of people so we opened up tuesday wednesday and thursday and um we had a good turnout we really did probably better than um we'd had previously uh we just kind of let them come in as they wanted we actually have four docents and then todd and i also gave tours um mthey were busy it was good it was good yeah i think people are just running i don't know if she does active pandemic people are just wanting to get out but like i said we had we had a lot of people from out of town come in which was which was really different for us what are your other favorite places in the quad cities besides this house you would say to visit or just go to favorite places i like swedenborg the riverfront you know just sitting there like the claire park blues fest is always a good thing i mean there's there's just i found i found the quad cities to be when i when i moved here i i really liked it because there's enough to do it's not chicago but there's always something going on and so you can always do something if you choose to so yeah there's i mean we do i mean i go to you know beau arts and you know just i i probably gravitate more towards arts and music um but there's always something to do here i i like quad cities good place what's some life advice that you would give to just anyone listening don't be afraid to follow your passion don't be afraid to speak up because if you don't um things will get done you know they they really you have to have a voice you really have to have a voice and you can have a voice in a very polite way um and they'd say you know squeaking wheel there's not turned to that there is there is that if you sit back and just watch things aren't going to happen but always be polite be courteous be respectful um you get mad sometimes it's okay sometimes it does a lot good to get mad but overall just you know have your facts straight and know what you're talking about and i guess i guess what i've learned especially here is that if you don't have a community voice um because what's a city you have to have community to be a city and if and if you don't have that they won't have much of a city you

In the early 1900’s, the Hauberg’s were major philanthropists for the Quad City community.

Susanne Hauberg founded the West End Settlement and the Rock Island Y.W.C.A. With the help of her siblings, Susanne created children's camps. She also donated the Denkmann Memorial Library to Augustana College.

John Hauberg made Black Hawk’s Watch Tower a state park in 1927. On top of that, he created the John Hauberg Indian Museum with his personal collection of artifacts. He also recorded oral histories of the area’s pioneers, which can be found at the Rock Island County Historical Society Library.

For more information, check out Hauberg Estate's website.

Located at: 1300 24th St, Rock Island, IL 61201

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