Barker Mansion is the former residence of local millionaire-industrialist, John H. Barker, who built the Haskell & Barker Railroad Car Company, which later became Pullman-Standard. The mansion was built in 1857, and shortly after the elaborate 38 room structure was finished, both Mr. and Mrs. Barker passed away, leaving the mansion and the Barker fortune to their only child, Catherine, who later donated the structure to Michigan City.

The building is now a lasting tribute to Barker’s philanthropy and is open to the public for tours. A tour of the mansion and grounds makes for a fascinating study in “gracious living.” It is typical of turn-of-the-century opulence and features rare woods and marble, beautiful one-of-a-kind tapestries, impressive collections of books and paintings, and a third-story ballroom where the Barkers entertained in royal fashion.