a museum, it was constructed as a home for one of the wealthiest men of the area. A descendant of the
original builders endowed the house as a gift to the historical society as a legacy to the family in 1936.
Since that inception many people have held the position of Curator, and others as tour guides. Within
those years, it was commonly thought was that there was not a live-in household servant for the Tanners.
The house was considered a mansion when it was built, with an entire wing over the kitchen that was
accessed by its own staircase. This wing was accessible from the main family bedrooms of the upstairs,
however a lockable door separated them. That wing was built physically lower than that of the family
bedchambers. The size of the rooms and quality of materials was sufficiently lower in situation, not to
mention dignity. It should have been obvious to everyone entering the home that the Tanners would have
had at least one live-in domestic due to the large number of children that were in residence. This family
was one of the most affluent in the area, and most families at that time did have a servant to do the
household chores. The peers and siblings of Mr. and Mrs. William Tanner had live-in help. The
contemporary house plans for families with similar income
included areas for these domestics to live. Over six decades, a Tanner House servant had not been proven
due to “no solid evidence.” The policy of the requirement of proof before any admission of acceptance
did not consider the clues within, and around, the building itself. The Tanners of the 1850s did have at least
one live-in domestic even though the professional academics and historians of Aurora had not seen the proof
as of yet.