My Land of Lincoln posts were inspired by our April visit to Springfield, Illinois. Previous posts showed you Abraham Lincoln's permanent tomb and his first temporary tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery. I've also shared Part 1 and Part 2 of the 3-part tour of Abraham Lincoln's home. This is the third and final installment.
Abraham & Mary Lincoln purchased their home in Springfield in 1844 from Rev. Charles Dresser - the same Rev. Dresser who had performed their wedding ceremony in 1842. The home was much smaller at the time, and underwent several additions/remodeling projects during the 17 years the Lincoln family lived here. I showed you most of the downstairs, as well as the 2nd floor guest room and the bedrooms of Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln in previous posts. We'll begin today by showing you the bedroom used by the Lincoln boys.
The oldest Lincoln son, Robert, was the only one of their 4 sons who wasn't born in this house. After he left home as a young man to pursue his education, he would use the guest room when he returned to visit. Willie and Tad were then using this room. (Son Edward had died at age 3 in 1850.)
The marbles shown here in the box are thought to have belonged to the boys, as they were excavated near the house.
This is the maid's room.
The "maid" would have been a local teenage girl - hired to help Mrs. Lincoln with daily housekeeping chores. She was paid a wage along with free room and board.
The back stairway leading down to the kitchen is just outside the maid's room.
The small kitchen was typically appointed with a nice cooking stove.
Mary Lincoln was known for her wonderful biscuits.
There would have been a cupboard for storing dishes. . .
a dry sink, and a work table.
It's always surprising how little work space and storage space kitchens used to have. Things are so much easier for us today. Remember, this room also had to function as a laundry room on wash day. Wash day was truly wash DAY.
Near the back stairway in the kitchen is the door that leads outside to the porch on the right side of the house. That porch will take you to the backyard and the privy.
Wow, it's a 3-holer!
Doesn't that photo remind you of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears? I'm sure Mary Lincoln would be horrified to know that I showed you her chamber pot and the family privy!
Here's the back of the Lincoln home. You can see the wood box on the back porch. There's a door leading into the kitchen (near the dry sink) to the left of it.
That concludes our tour of the home of Abraham & Mary Lincoln. If it hadn't been raining buckets the day we visited, we would have wandered around the neighborhood to see the other homes that have been restored. Even though we had an umbrella, we were soaked.
I want to remind you that tours of the home are free, but offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Plan to visit earlier in the day during the summer tourist season, and don't forget to allow time to see the film and exhibits in the visitor center.
In addition to Oak Ridge Cemetery and Abraham Lincoln's home, you can also visit his nearby downtown law office and the Old State Capitol building where he tried cases, served in the Illinois legislature, and delivered his famous "House Divided" speech. One last stop must be the depot where Lincoln delivered his emotional farewell address when leaving Springfield for Washington, DC, and where his body was returned by train after his assassination. All sites are impressively restored and well kept.
All is well in the Keweenaw.