Touring Mr. Lincoln's House: Inside the home today

By The Old House Web

Since Springfield homes were not numbered until 1873, the Lincolns, like many of their Springfield neighbors, used a front door nameplate to identify their home to visitors. On June 27, 1860, a reporter of the Utica (New York) Morning Herald described the Lincoln Home as he first saw it on June 21st: "A modest-looking two story brown frame house with the name 'A.Lincoln' on the nameplate, told me that my pilgrimage had ended."


The formal parlor, where the Lincolns entertained important guests, was considered the nicest room in the house. It was also here, on May 19, 1860, that men from the Republican National Convention officially asked Lincoln to run for the Presidency. Several days later, Lincoln accepted the nomination.


The back parlor originally served as a bedroom for Mary and Abraham. Here Mary gave birth to three of their children - Eddie, Willie, and Tad. It was also in this room that Eddie, their second child, after a prolonged illness, passed away just before his fourth birthday.


Despite the presence of hired help, Mary usually prepared the evening meals and served them in the dining room. The table would allow the family to dine together, and was where Mary attempted to teach her boys proper dining etiquette.


The sitting room is similar to a modern family room, a place where the family held informal receptions and where they relaxed. Here the parents held several parties for Willie and Tad including one for which they invited fifty children. This is also where the family dog - Fido - and the Lincolns' numerous cats spent time. When Lincoln spent time here though, he was more likely to spend it on the floor, since most of the furniture was not comfortable for his six-foot-four inch frame.


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