Dubuque, IA was the lead mining captital of the world until the mid 1860’s. As a result of this it was the law/common paractice around these parts up until the late 1800’s that people use soft woods for their floors and save the hardwood for the lead mine shafts. The Mandolin Inn (Nicholas Schrup home) was built in 1908 and is one of the few historic homes in either Dubuque or Galena that has hardwood floors. Schrup was knighted by the King of Belgium in 1920 and wanted everyone that entered the home to know that he was Sir Schrup – note the German Cross Medallians on the Grand Hall floor.
During the varied uses of the home over the course of time the beautiful wooden floors often had rugs glued on them in order to protect the wood – particularly during the period when it was a half-way house for juvenile delinquents and later when it was a college apartment/frat house. The nuns glued tile over the hardwood floor of the Ballroom so that the novice nuns could live there. The ballroom floor remains tile covered as it is currently used as a storage attic.