Monday, September 3, 2012

Honest Abe and His Honestly Impressive House

This must be the greatest Abe photograph in existence. I love it.  

We went to visit the Lincoln home in Springfield, IL today. It was the only home that he had owned in his lifetime. He and Mary Todd lived there together for over 15 years.

I know you know that I love old houses, and this one just totally did it for me. The Lincoln house holds most of the original family furniture and it has been completely restored to look just the way it did when Lincoln lived there. The wallpaper that Mary Todd had special ordered from Paris has been replicated and rehung, and it's by far the most amazing part.

The Lincoln story is romantic and tragic and absolutely fascinating. I love Mary Todd. She must have been such a strong woman, being partner to an idolized political figure and living through the death of three children and, of course, the death of her husband.

Here's a photo of the house taken during the days of Lincoln's Funeral in 1865. 

and here's one that I took today with my iPhone, from the same spot! 

Tour time? I think so. 

This is the front parlor. The curtains are amazing, the wallpaper is fantastic and the original furniture is all upholstered in black horse hair! Magnificent! 

On the other side of the house is the family room, my favorite room in the house by far. This is where the family would hang out together, Mary would stitch and the boys would play with Abraham on the floor. Have you ever seen a family room more regal? Look at those valences, and all this time I thought I didn't like valances! The green curtains caught my eye right away. I also love the wallpaper and even more there is a tiny border at the top of the wall that Is an awesome detail. 

There is also a dining room, second parlor, and a kitchen downstairs, but my camera died half way through the tour so I didn't get photos of everything ... talk about an unprepared photographer! 

Up the main stairs you can access a guest room and Abraham's room, the rest of the family rooms are only accessible through Abraham's room or the back stairwell that lead into the kitchen. The first room off Abe's is, of course, Mary's. Mary's room leads into a hallway that accesses the children's room, the maid's room, and the back stairs. Here's a couple photos of the children's room. (ps, you can see me taking the photo in the mirror... whoops!) 

And here's one more photo that I found to show you the wallpaper in the guest room. Definitely my favorite wallpaper in the house! 

And finally a photo I took of a photo in the visitors center of a rally outside the Lincoln home in the mid 1800's. I love how you can see figures in the upstairs windows, so cool! The two windows to the left would have been through Abraham's room and the middle window is actually on the landing at the top of the stairs. 

So there you have it! And in case you're wondering, I DID stay up past midnight last night ringing in my personal New Year, and it's off to a great start ;) Hope you all enjoyed your three day weekend! 


  1. Awesome! Lincoln has always been my favorite president! Thanks for sharing!
    Have a Suneday!

  2. great stuff....just took my family to Springfield and it was the way, in the bottom left window of the house, during the rally, a shy Mary Lincoln peeks that photo.....and...a little Abe-obsessed......thanks for sharing