Barrington’s White House is a landmark on West Main Street—from mansion, to hospital in 1918, to tearoom and antique store, to nursing home and real estate offices, and now a restoration of its original grandeur for community cultural events and private gatherings.
In 1926, the Barrington Review of October 7 reported: “The Cottage Soon in New Quarters”. It continued: “The Cottage” the attractive tearoom and gift shop which has been located on East Main Street is moving into its commodious quarters in the old Robertson House on Main Street. The new era in The Cottage’s history will be inaugurated Saturday evening at the dinner hour. There will be music, and, of course the perfectly served food which is responsible for The Cottage’s becoming a mansion.”
Ella and Robert Mickey purchased the Robertson House earlier that year, and installed their charming relatives, Zoe and Zella, to run The Cottage. The sisters also opened an antiques store in front of the tearoom. Through their contacts in Chicago vaudeville they reportedly attracted notables to their Barrington emporium. Flower shows were held, and Saturday evenings were enlivened with musical performances, presaging present-day events. Little more is known of the sisters. Their photograph was provided to the Barrington White House History Collection by the Mickey’s great-granddaughter Maureen Kelley.
Barbara L. Benson grew up in Kent, England, and later moved to New York. She settled in Barrington and has walked with our history ever since she first arrived here in 1980.
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