Hildene was the summer home of Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln. He was a lawyer, a diplomat, Secretary of War, and president of the Pullman Company (as in train cars). The estate has retained 400 of its original 500 acres. It cannot be seen from the road. But turning in at a small sign, we traveled a long way down a dirt road until suddenly...there it was!
We paid the entrance fee at the visitor's center, and then proceeded on to the self-guided tour of the house. Here's the view of the grand staircase, with the front door to the right.
The first room we saw was on the ground floor, just behind the staircase, and it was Robert Todd Lincoln's bedroom. It has its own private door that exits out the front of the house.
His cozy study.
Another study-like room. I loved the paneling in this room and assumed it was mahogany. But a sign informed us that it was locally-sourced poplar stained to look like the costlier mahogany.
The elegant dining room, with the sun streaming through the windows and the table set for a meal, was our favorite!
The wallpaper in the room was said to be a 3-applique French wallpaper. So, it wasn't printed on a single sheet, as modern wallpaper is, but applied in overlapping pieces.
Adjacent to the pantry was the butler's pantry. (Terrible photo. My apologies.) But a butler's pantry!
The remainder of the downstairs consisted of the kitchen, servant's dining room, butler's bedroom (think Carson!), and various rooms that were closed to the public. Upstairs were more bedrooms and bathrooms and this narrow room. It was clearly meant for the maids (think Anna!) use in maintaining the clothing. There were drawers, iron and ironing board, and simple sewing supplies.
Also upstairs, there is a small area devoted to Abraham Lincoln, and look what we discovered there! It's Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hat!
Then we wandered out onto the grounds. The view is perfectly splendid! We hope to return at a prettier time of year, when the view and the gardens will be even more breathtaking!
A view back at the house from the bottom of the formal garden.
Hildene remained in the Lincoln family until the 1970's when the last descendant of Abraham Lincoln died. There are no living descendants today.