Lincoln’s Home

First off – I’m so sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. Everything’s ok, I just needed a break and have also been busy with Christmas preparations. I haven’t checked the comments here in a while – thank you for your concern – I’m so sorry for being a bum and not staying in touch better. 

Second, we didn’t get the snow they were predicting. With 40 mile per hour winds it’s hard to tell just how much we got in the night as the wind has blown it into drifts, but we don’t think we got the 7 inches they were calling for, probably more like 4 inches. Harland drove me to work this morning. We busted through a couple drifts, the visibility was bad in places for the blowing snow, and we saw a vehicle in the ditch, but we made it in ok.  

Anywho, on with today’s blog post:

A while back, I took a few days off work, and we drove to Springfield, Illinois where we visited among other places, Lincoln’s home.

Abraham and Mary Lincoln were married for over 20 years, but only ever owned one home. It is here that they raised their four boys, and it is from here that Abraham was elected president.

Here are Abraham and Mary in the earliest known photos of them, taken in the mid-1840s:

Let’s go into the house and take a look around.

Just inside the front door off to the left is the formal sitting room.

It is from this room that the Lincolns would greet and entertain guests to the house. Much of the furniture in the house once belonged to the Lincolns. They sold most of it off when they left for Washington, but a lot of it has found it’s way back to the house.

Across the hall is the family’s sitting room. Here, they relaxed as a family.

By the way, I’m sure you’ve noticed by now the loud wallpaper and carpet. This was the height of style in the Victorian era. I think I could live with either the carpet or the wallpaper, but not both. Makes for a loud room, don’t you think?

Just off the sitting rooms is the way upstairs. This is the original handrail.

Imagine, Abraham and Mary holding on to this very rail as they went upstairs, and their boys sliding down it of course. As we went upstairs, the guide encouraged us to hold on to the rail. Neato!

Upstairs are the bedrooms. Abraham and Mary had separate bedrooms as was the common practice of the day. Abraham’s room does not have the original bed, but his writing desk is there in the corner.

And here’s the mirror he used for shaving.

Lincoln never had a beard until after he was elected president.

Check out the wallpaper. Mary sent off to France for it and it was quite expensive.

Here’s Mary’s room:

Here’s Mary’s commode:

I guess you just lift the little round lid to take care of business. This would be a lot better than taking a trip out to the outhouse. Remember, bathrooms were still outside in the mid 19th century.

In the boys room, you can see the original marbles that they played with.

The Lincoln’s had 4 boys: Robert, Eddie, Willie, and Tad.

In 1850, 3 year old Eddie, died of consumption, or tuberculosis.

Eddie was described by his parents as a tender-hearted, kind, and loving child.

In 1861, when they left for Washington DC, he and Mary had plans to return after his presidency, but sadly it wasn’t to be.

While living in the White House in 1862, they lost another of their sons, Eddie.

He died of typhoid fever and was only 11 years old.

And then in 1865, after Abraham’s assassination,  Mary couldn’t bring herself to return to their house in Springfield.  She, Robert and Tad, lived together in Chicago for a time. But then Robert, now grown, moved on.

Then in 1871, eighteen year old Tad died of tuberculosis.

Mary was now alone.

The rest of Mary’s life was marked by grief, insanity(Robert commited her to an asylum in 1875) and illness. In the early 1880s, she finally returned to Springfield to live with her sister, and it was in her sister’s house in 1882 that she died at the age of 63.

Robert Lincoln donated the family home in Springfield to the State of Illinois in 1887 under the condition that it would always be open free to the public and well maintained.

If you are interested in learning more about the Lincolns or touring their home, you can visit the official home website by clicking HERE



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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25 Responses

  1. katie says:

    So glad everything is ok. It would have very considerate to just say you were taking a few days off instead of leaving us wondering and concerned.

  2. Laura says:

    Wahoo, she’s back. Glad all is well and understand the needed time. You just have us very spoiled. ;o Merry Christmas!

  3. Doe in Mi says:

    Yup, me too. Glad your back – missed ya.
    Lincoln’s carpet reminds me of some of the
    quilts I see on line. Pretty, bright, and
    cheerful. 🙂

  4. Glenda says:

    I love the rocking chair in the formal sitting room. I guess the loud carpets and wallpaper got them out of the “dark” ages.
    It doesn’t look from the photos that any of the boys got Abe’s features. Maybe if they had lived to maturity it would have become more evident.
    I like Mary’s commode. Handy for those staying upstairs don’t you think? I know, at least I don’t have to go to the outhouse!
    Glad you didn’t get a debilitating snow there. We have just enough to look good but could do without the wind.
    Welcome back! Merry Christmas!

  5. Alica says:

    Glad you’re back and all is well! I know the feeling…sometimes we just need a break. You guys get to see some really neat places…my husband especially loves history, and would enjoy seeing this in person.

  6. Kay says:

    We now live about 3 hrs. from Springfield. We haven’t made it to the museum yet but have heard that it is excellent. These pictures make it a “must see” in the coming year!

  7. Sandra says:

    Welcome back. Glad all is well and you took some much needed time off We have seen the movie about the Lincolns. and enjoyed it. Would love to see the home. Loved the tour you gave. Merry Christmas!!

  8. Tina says:

    I too would like to welcome you back but to also let you know how worried we all were about you. It’s silly I know because you don’t know most of us from Adam. But I now consider you a friend because we have all interacted over the years. Please feel free to take all the time off you need but just let us know if you can…I am a Mom, I worry. I thought something terrible had happened and Harland couldn’t tell us because he couldn’t log on! I am also glad your snow wasn’t too awful. Whew! I am SO happy you are in one piece!!!!

  9. Tina says:

    By the way I think that crazy wallpaper rug combo with the bedspread is what send poor Mary to the nuthouse. Wow! That would hurt your eyes.

    • Suzanne says:

      Mary suffered from headaches and we commented on the tour that maybe the cause was the wallpaper/carpet combo. 🙂

  10. JB says:

    So glad you’re back….That house is “amazing”….so cute from the outside and so BUSY inside!

  11. Debbie says:

    Hi Suzanne!

    Glad to see you back and hear all is well!
    Please take time between posts if you need to.
    I am sure it can become a burden to constantly think of things to write about and photograph! I can understand needing a break!

    Merry Christmas to you two!
    And Kitty too of course!

    Thanks for the tour of Lincoln’s house!
    I really want to go see the movie about them.
    I’ve never been a history buff, but this sounds interesting, and seeing this cyber tour will probably add to it.

  12. Debbie says:

    P.S. Did Kitty ever get used to her pet fountain, lol?

  13. Amy C. says:

    So glad you are back and all is well. You were missed!

    I loved the tour of the house. Thank you for sharing!

    I have also wondered if Kitty started using her fountain!

    Would love some pictures of the snow. Here in the NC foothills we haven’t seen any snow, yet. We’re hoping for some!☺

  14. Louise S says:

    I’d be insane, too, if my husband was assassinated and I lost 3 of my 4 children. What a sad, painful ending for Mary’s life. God rest her soul.

    Good to hear from you, Suzanne. I’m an hour west of Chicago, and we got the tail-end of your snow storm last night……mostly rain, wind, sleet, and maybe a half-inch of snow.

  15. Carol says:

    Glad you are back on the air! I too, think of you as a friend, as well as all of the ladies who comment here. We love you guys, please don’t forget that.

  16. Laura says:

    so glad you are back…I’m a born worrywart!

  17. Becky L says:

    I enjoyed the photos of Lincoln’s house. Yes, I think I could live the carpet but not the noisy wallpaper either. I’m glad you are back blogging. I checked a couple times to see if there were updates. Yeh, I’ve not posted lately either since I’ve been working and sick a few days and just behind. Hopefully today I’ll get some ornaments on the Christmas tree finally. Merry Christmas to you and Harland and kitty, too! Hugs!

  18. Sue says:

    Makes me want to go out and get a biography on Mary. Glad you are back. I was, also, concerned. Love your blog…

  19. Jann-Marie says:

    Now you’re back, Suzanne…why you have our concern
    For you’ve become an ‘old friend’ as each season turns.

  20. Amelia says:

    Thank you for the vicarious trip to Lincoln’s house! All these places that I have amental note made to go visit one day myself! Glad you are back online! Missed your sweet blog entries and recipies, and especially the Kitty stories! Merry Christmas to all!

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