As we trudge toward spring, waiting for vaccines and dodging more infectious Covid mutations, we thought we would offer weekly suggestions for outings. Here’s Garrett’s pick for this week–Lincoln’s Cottage.
Our recommended expedition this weekend is to President Lincoln’s cottage on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home. This chunk of land was purchased in 1851 from the Riggs family to house aging soldiers, using money that the US during the Mexican War, and the cottage itself was lived by George Washington Riggs, who put up the property for sale after the death of his two-year-old daughter made living there to painful for him. Not a very cheerful sales pitch so far, I know! But wait. The Lincoln’s were invited to summer at the cottage, and they did so, living in the house for nearly a quarter of Lincoln’s presidency. This was a real refuge since Willie Lincoln died of typhoid just four months prior to the family’s first stay at the cottage.
Ok, selling points. The cottage is pretty, but not amazing to look at. What is amazing is that the little stairs that lead to the upstairs bedrooms are the same stairs Lincoln went up and down every day. The bedroom upstairs is the room where the Emancipation Proclamation was written. For those with a good imagination, Lincoln’s Cottage is a power time machine. The guides are very knowledgeable. There’s a good exhibit inside the visitor’s center, and there you will find a pair of Lincoln’s old slippers. They are boat-like, and embroidered with cute little dogs – the slippers made the whole trip worthwhile!
Here’s the website: https://www.lincolncottage.org