Friday, August 13, 2010

Abe Lincoln's Son's Manchester, Vermont Home

Abe Lincoln's Son's Manchester, Vermont Home: Hildene
Abe Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln became a very wealthy man on Wall Street and built a summer "cottage" that was really a magnificent 24 room Georgian mansion on 500 acres of land in southern Vermont. Jack and I had to drive down a private one mile road to reach the beautiful home that overlooks the surrounding mountains and countryside.
Here is the view after you park your car, purchase your tour tickets and walk towards the front porch.
When you enter the grand foyer of the house you are greeted by a grand staircase that had also built into the second floor landing hidden organ pipes for Mr. Lincoln's wife who played the organ as well as the piano and the harp. How unusual.
The dining room was the most formal room of the house.
This was Robert Todd Lincoln's bedroom. The bed is similar to the bed in the Abraham Lincoln bedroom in the White House. Robert Todd Lincoln had already graduated from Harvard when his father, President Lincoln was reelected president in 1865.
There was both a formal library and a working office in the home. In the office Robert Lincoln kept his father's personal papers. He would transport them from his winter home in New York city to this summer cottage each year. People speculated that he later burned papers at Hildene that referenced Mary Todd Lincoln, his mother, as having a mental illness. Above is just a part of the long wall with lots and lots of built in drawers for Lincoln presidential papers. It reminded me of an old fashioned library card catalog. Later, before Robert Lincoln died he decided to give his father's papers to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
This was the laundry maid's room on the first floor in the servants wing of the house. It too had a built in wall of compartments. These were used for storing the laundered and ironed clothes and linens of the owners and their houseguests. I've never seen anything quite like this in any other historic American mansion.
A lady tourist volunteered to take our picture in the formal gardens. We started chatting with her and learned that she graduated from Lee High School in Springfield, Virginia. Just down the street from Franconia Elementary where I used to work.
The formal French gardens were so lovely overlooking the rural mountain setting. Lots and lots of pink and white flowers in a sea of green.
There were big tubs of pink petunias along the pathways.
Here's a view of the backside of the house with the gardens in front. Hildene now rents the estate for weddings. The bride walks down that grand formal staircase and then walks down this garden path to the wedding ceremony spot in the garden. We saw a huge white tent on the grounds adjacent to the gardens that is used for the wedding reception.

White coneflowers and white Madonna lilies in this final picture of Hildene.
To learn more about Hildene go here:


jeanine said...

That's a nice picture of you and daddy.

Denise said...

How lovely! Thanks for taking us on such a lovely tour.
An English Girl Rambles

Melinda said...

wow! gorgeous home and photos!

Patty said...

Very nice, wish this side of the Lincoln Family had a little of his money. LOL Then again, he might have not had any, keeping a house that large up and running.