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Barker Mansion in Michigan City is a perfect setting for the Sept. 22 NWI Next discussion of wealth and the economy.

The opulent mansion was built by freight car magnate John Barker in 1857 and expanded in 1905. The mansion features heavily carved woodwork and many furnishings imported from Europe. Its Gilded Age decor is a sharp contrast to that of the homes of the factory workers the Barkers employed.

The Barkers lived in a mansion, while the average employee had a shotgun house. The Barkers had indoor plumbing, but the workers had outhouses. And while the Barkers had European furnishings and clothing, the workers had locally made goods and apparel.

Visit Barker Mansion, 631 Washington St, Michigan City, for a guided tour at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 22 prior to the 7 p.m. discussion.

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You’ll hear about the mansion and the wealth disparities before we begin a guided conversation on the topic.

The Times Media Co. and Valparaiso University are partners with Barker Mansion for this program.

I hope to see you there!

Politics/History Editor Doug Ross can be reached at (219) 548-4360 or (219) 933-3357 or Doug.Ross@nwi.com. Follow him at www.facebook.com/doug.ross1 and on Twitter @nwi_DougRoss. The opinions are the writer’s.

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