“the first site restored to honor a first lady”
The Mary Todd Lincoln House, located on West Main Street in downtown Lexington, Kentucky was the family home of the future wife of the 16th President. In 1977, the girlhood home opened to the public and became the first house museum in America to honor a First Lady. Originally built between 1803-1806 to serve as an inn, the property became the home of politician and businessman, Robert S. Todd in 1832. Daughter Mary Todd, born in December1818, resided here until she moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1839 to live with her elder sister. There she met and married Abraham Lincoln, whom she brought to visit this home in the fall of 1847. The Todd family resided here until Mr. Todd’s death in an 1849 cholera epidemic. Due to a discrepancy in his will a public auction was forced resulting in the sale of the house and its entire contents. From this sale a copy of an inventory list was obtained and used in selecting the antiques to place in the house when it was restored. Today, the 14 room house contains period furniture, family portraits and furnishings from the Todds as well as the Lincolns. The original property also contained separate slave quarters, outdoor kitchen, wash house, smoke house, and stables with a carriage house. Unfortunately, no evidence of the outbuildings remain. A recently added garden reflects the charm of the original and offers a pleasant respite for visitors.
We stopped by on the way from Ohio to Virginia and really enjoyed the tour! It lasted about an hour and was fun and informative. I was particularly impressed by the way our tour guide, Michael, catered to a young girl in our tour--there was a little activity for her to do in each room, which kept her entertained and focused! It was very cool!
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Mary Todd Lincoln House
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