The Museum’s Mission & History
The mission of the Robert R. McCormick Museum is to preserve, manage, and restore Robert R. McCormick’s Cantigny home and to tell his story through a robust program of educational services that connect his life and legacy to the modern world.
The Robert R. McCormick Museum will be the recognized authority on the life of Robert R. McCormick and his impact on politics, media, First Amendment issues, industry, philanthropy, and patriotism. The
Museum will also be a distinctive leader in museum practice within the Historic House Museum community.
Statement of Purpose
The Robert R. McCormick Museum’s purpose is to fulfill specific terms of McCormick’s will by promoting knowledge and appreciation of Robert R. McCormick through community outreach and informative, interactive tours, programs, and activities related to the life and legacy of Robert R. McCormick and his family.
The Museum is an historic house museum that depicts the country home of a family that made the Chicago Tribune the “World’s Greatest Newspaper.” Built in 1896 for Joseph Medill, the house and grounds, known as Red Oak Farm, first passed to Joseph’s daughter Katherine and then to her youngest son, Robert Rutherford.
Robert and his first wife Amy used the house first as a summer home and later as their permanent residence. They renamed the estate “Cantigny” to honor the French village where Robert served with the First Division in World War I.
By the 1930s, Robert turned the Cantigny estate into the Tribune Experimental Farms where
1,000 acres were devoted to testing a wide variety of crops and animals. A regular column, “Day by Day on the Farm,” ran in the Chicago Tribune and reported on ongoing farm operations. Farming operations ceased after Robert’s death in 1955 and Cantigny opened as a public park and museum in 1958.