Museum Hill Historic District includes a total of 244 contributing properties included in the National Register of Historic Places. This area is made up of a wide variety of architecturally significant commercial and residential buildings constructed between 1850 and the early 20th century. Through the wide variety of architectural styles, these properties have the ability to convey a sense of the historic scene when Saint Joseph's burgeoning economic prosperity was reflected by its equally robust residential growth. At a time when St. Joseph was booming and was second to Chicago for mercantile, it was known as the gateway to the west, the Museum Hill area was setting the precedent for residential architecture.
The Vineyard Mansion Bed & Breakfast and Executive Rentals is an imposing 23 room Romanesque Revival Style residence built in 1890 for a prominent Saint Joseph attorney, Benjamin R. Vineyard, and the husband of Miss Emma Hoagland, daughter of George Hoagland, President of Buchanan Bank. Benjamin Vineyard's mother, Mary Owens, was proposed to by Abraham Lincoln, but she had turned him down thinking he was not suitable. This Romanesque Revival structure was designed by famed architectural firm of Eckel and Mann with possible Harvey Ellis influence. Harvey Ellis was a draftsman for Eckel and Mann at this time and was fluent in this design style. There is no documentation to prove Harvey Ellis had an influence with no original floor plans found. With only 6 Romanesque Revival homes left in St Joseph, this style is rare and typically cost more to construct compared to typical stick built homes. The Vineyard Mansion Bed & Breakfast and Executive Rentals is one of the major contributors to the Museum Hill Historic District due to the rare style, sheer size, scale and superior quality.
Benjamin R Vineyard