Philip A. Wolff House and Carriage House

Also known as: Belmont Hill
1525 Cherokee Drive NW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa



Photo taken by Dave King




A descendant of wealthy Virginians, Philip Andrew Wolff was born in 1818 in Dayton, Ohio.

Trained in the family business, he was a third-generation brickmaker and mason contractor. He grew up among Quaker influences and particularly admired the large, thick-walled hilltop mansions of well-to-do Quaker farmers. From them he learned all about flying squirrels and the arts of bee-keeping, grape culture, and winemaking.

As a young man, Philip left Ohio with the dream of his own business, hilltop home and vineyards. He traveled throughout the States and abroad. On Valentine's Day in 1844, he married Rosina Yerker. The marriage was to span over 70 years, and together they would raise six children.

In 1882, the Wolffs purchased a 45-acre parcel of land and Philip named it Belmont Hill. There he opened a brickyard. From the clay bluffs of the property he crafted hand-molded "soft mud" brick. A basement winery was built and vineyards were planted. Atop the winery he constructed a 2-1/2 story hilltop residence. A carriage house was added for the horses and buggy.

The brickyard and vineyards are long gone, but amidst centurion trees, the house and carriage house remain. Both of these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Philip Wolff achieved his dream. He had his hilltop home, a profitable winery and brickyard, 40 stands of bees, vineyards and yes, even flying squirrels.

This restored historic property now opens its doors for you to enjoy as a Bed & Breakfast Home.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 7, 1982
Reference number
NR name
Wolff, Philip A., House and Carriage House
Architectural style
Victorian: Italianate
Areas of significance
Commerce; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Road-related; Secondary structure
Current function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2


19th Century (38,102)
Brick (42,466)
Built 1883 (521)
Built during 1880s (6,553)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (43)
House (27,899)
Iowa (2,528)
Italianate (5,120)
Limestone (8,194)
Linn County, Iowa (115)
Philip A. Wolff (1)
Private owner (54,402)
Victorian (19,703)

Update Log 

  • May 28, 2013: Updated by Dave King: Corrected GPS position & adress. Added description & link.
  • May 28, 2013: New photos from Dave King