Abraham Lincoln lived in a log cabin at the start of his life and in the White House at the end of his life. Between the two extremes, he and his family lived in a typical home in Springfield, Illinois, for seventeen years, a home that started out a modest size and was expanded as the family grew and Lincoln’s law business flourished. Today you can tour the home, which includes several of the Lincolns’ possessions.
Your park ranger tour guide will lead you through the front door, marked with a simple plate that reads “A. Lincoln” and into the formal parlor where Lincoln was offered the nomination for President. The children weren’t allowed to play in this formal room.
The parlor pictured below is where Lincoln would get on the floor and play with the kids and the family pets.
The railing is the only item in the home that you are allowed to touch, and required to touch, holding on as you go up the stairs. The railing is original, the one used by the Lincolns.
Lincoln often worked at home, sitting at this secretary in his bedroom.
Back downstairs, the kitchen, though small by today’s standards, had all of the conveniences of that time. The Lincolns hired outside help, but Mary learned to cook and often prepared family meals.
Your guide will fill you in on lots of tidbits about the Lincoln family during the tour that I won’t tell now. You’ll have to take the tour to hear them yourself.
The Lincoln Home is located at the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets. Tours are free but require a ticket, which you must get at the visitor center at 426 South Seventh Street. Pick up your tickets early since tours fill up quickly. While you’re at the visitor center, see the orientation film about Lincoln’s years in Springfield. Visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site web site for hours and further details.
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