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201 4th Street SE
Room 150
Rochester, Mn 55904 (Map)

Phone: 507-328-2525
Fax: 507-328-2535

Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

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Plummer House History & Facts

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In 1917 Dr. Henry S. Plummer and his wife Daisy, began construction of "Quarry Hill" later to be known as the Plummer House.  Dr. Plummer personally formulated the plans for the house which included many innovations that were far advanced for that day and age.

In 1924 the 65 acre estate consisted of the house, greenhouse, water tower, garage and gazebo.  Today 11 acres remain and are maintained by the Rochester Park and Recreation Department.

In 1901 Dr. Mayo asked Dr. Plummer to join the Mayo Clinic staff.  This relationship was to last for the next 35 years to the mutual benefit of both parties.   Dr. Plummer is given credit for many innovative ideas that were implemented during his tenure.  Among the most outstanding was his invention of the pneumatic tube, the communication system, and record keeping system.

Daisy Plummer, a gifted musician and friend to all, was a remarkable individual in her own right.  A concert pianist and patron of the arts, she was very fond of promoting cultural activities in the city.

With Dr. Plummer's death in 1936, Daisy Plummer and family continued to live at the Plummer House until 1969.  At that time the house and grounds were given to the Art Center for all to use and enjoy.  Three years later the house and grounds were turned over to the Park and Recreation Department.

Dr. Plummer, once described as "the diversified genius" and Daisy "a patron of the arts" built a home that was always open to friends and relatives.   Today this memory lives on at the Plummer House of the Arts.


Dr. Plummer began working at the Mayo Clinic in 1901 and was there until his death in 1936.  He was a physician, architect, tool and die maker and inventor.  He set up the record keeping system at the Mayo clinic, designed many buildings and invented the pneumatic tube.

Daisy Plummer was a gifted musician.  Her mother's maiden name was Mayo.   daisy lived at the Plummer House until 1969.  She and Dr. Plummer had two adopted children, Robert and Gertrude.

The house is an English Tudor Mansion and was constructed between 1917 and 1924.   The roof is made entirely of slate.  Today the house, water tower and grounds occupy 11 acres.  The furniture in the house is all original.

There are two caves on the property,one going into the house and the other under the water tower.

The house has 49 rooms, 10 bathrooms, 9 bedrooms, 5 fireplaces.

The house is over 300' long and is 5 stories high

Innovative features that were built into the house included: central vacuum system, underground sprinkler system, inter-communications system, security system, dumb waiter, electricity and gas lighting, first gas furnace in the city, garage door openers, heated pool, water tower, and many other special features.

When the house was built the property included 65 acres.

Twenty-five percent of exterior stone was mined from the property.