Abraham Lincoln's frame house in Springfield, Illinois, is the only residence our sixteenth President ever owned. It's now preserved for visitors at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
©National Park Service
This frame house in Springfield, Illinois, is the only house
Abraham Lincoln ever owned.
Two years later, they purchased the modest home at Eighth and Jackson streets. The couple lived on a tight budget, so Lincoln did all the chores around the house, including chopping wood, carrying water, and milking the cows. As the family grew, they renovated and expanded the home until it was a distinguished two-story house befitting a lawyer and rising politician.
©National Park Service
Abraham Lincoln did all the chores around the
In 1846, Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives, and the family moved to Washington. His unpopular stance against the Mexican War, however, cost him politically, and in 1849 Lincoln moved back to Springfield, feeling he had no future in politics. But in 1856, the issue of slavery brought Lincoln back to Washington. In the Senate race he ran against Senator Stephen Douglas as a member of the newly formed Republican Party.
Lincoln lost the election, but the eloquent speeches he gave in a series of debates with Douglas won him national acclaim. Four years later, Lincoln was elected President of the United States and presided over the Civil War.
In January 1861, the Lincolns packed up the house in Springfield. They sold some of the furniture and household goods and put the rest in trunks labeled "A. Lincoln, White House, Washington, D.C." In 1887, more than two decades after Lincoln's assassination, the house was donated to the State of Illinois.
In 1971, the National Park Service acquired the President's home as part of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, which today encompasses a four-block historic district of perhaps a dozen mid-nineteenth-century homes.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site Information
Address: 413 South Eighth Street, Springfield, IL 62701
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day; hours extended during summer
Admission: Free, but tickets must be obtained from the Lincoln Home Visitor Center at 426 South Seventh Street
Learn more about these other national historic sites:
Find out more about travel destinations in North America:
- National Monuments: Learn more about America's national monuments.
- National Memorials: Discover national memorials in the U.S.
- National Historic Sites: Read about American national historic sites.
- Illinois State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Illinois as well as other recreational activities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Eric Peterson is a Denver-based freelance writer who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.