Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Monday, June 26, 2017

Land of Lincoln - Lincoln's Home - 3

My Land of Lincoln posts were inspired by our April visit to Springfield, Illinois. Previous posts showed you Abraham Lincoln's permanent tomb and his first temporary tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery. I've also shared Part 1 and Part 2 of the 3-part tour of Abraham Lincoln's home. This is the third and final installment.

Abraham & Mary Lincoln purchased their home in Springfield in 1844 from Rev. Charles Dresser - the same Rev. Dresser who had performed their wedding ceremony in 1842. The home was much smaller at the time, and underwent several additions/remodeling projects during the 17 years the Lincoln family lived here. I showed you most of the downstairs, as well as the 2nd floor guest room and the bedrooms of Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln in previous posts. We'll begin today by showing you the bedroom used by the Lincoln boys.

The oldest Lincoln son, Robert, was the only one of their 4 sons who wasn't born in this house. After he left home as a young man to pursue his education, he would use the guest room when he returned to visit. Willie and Tad were then using this room. (Son Edward had died at age 3 in 1850.)

The marbles shown here in the box are thought to have belonged to the boys, as they were excavated near the house.

This is the maid's room.

The "maid" would have been a local teenage girl - hired to help Mrs. Lincoln with daily housekeeping chores. She was paid a wage along with free room and board.

The back stairway leading down to the kitchen is just outside the maid's room.

The small kitchen was typically appointed with a nice cooking stove.

Mary Lincoln was known for her wonderful biscuits.

There would have been a cupboard for storing dishes. . .

a dry sink, and a work table.

It's always surprising how little work space and storage space kitchens used to have. Things are so much easier for us today. Remember, this room also had to function as a laundry room on wash day. Wash day was truly wash DAY.

Near the back stairway in the kitchen is the door that leads outside to the porch on the right side of the house. That porch will take you to the backyard and the privy.

Wow, it's a 3-holer!

Doesn't that photo remind you of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears? I'm sure Mary Lincoln would be horrified to know that I showed you her chamber pot and the family privy!

Here's the back of the Lincoln home. You can see the wood box on the back porch. There's a door leading into the kitchen (near the dry sink) to the left of it.

That concludes our tour of the home of Abraham & Mary Lincoln. If it hadn't been raining buckets the day we visited, we would have wandered around the neighborhood to see the other homes that have been restored. Even though we had an umbrella, we were soaked.

I want to remind you that tours of the home are free, but offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Plan to visit earlier in the day during the summer tourist season, and don't forget to allow time to see the film and exhibits in the visitor center.

In addition to Oak Ridge Cemetery and Abraham Lincoln's home, you can also visit his nearby downtown law office and the Old State Capitol building where he tried cases, served in the Illinois legislature, and delivered his famous "House Divided" speech. One last stop must be the depot where Lincoln delivered his emotional farewell address when leaving Springfield for Washington, DC, and where his body was returned by train after his assassination. All sites are impressively restored and well kept.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Land of Lincoln - Lincoln's Home - 2

My Land of Lincoln posts were inspired by our April visit to Springfield, Illinois. Previous posts showed you Abraham Lincoln's permanent tomb and his first temporary tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery. We began the 3-part tour of Abraham Lincoln's home in a post last week that talked about the visitor center and his neighborhood.

We then entered Abraham Lincoln's home through the front door and saw the front hall/foyer, the parlor to the left, and the dining room. We'll pick up the tour today by beginning in the sitting room.

The sitting room is to your right as you enter the front door and can also be accessed from the dining room. The sitting room is where the boys played and the Lincoln family spent the majority of their family time. Here is a sketch showing how the sitting room appeared in early 1861.

The 1860's sketches helped to determine how the Lincoln home looked at the time they lived there. Some color choices may be considered a bit loud today, but Mary Lincoln's decor was fashionable in the mid-1800's - certainly not extravagant, however.

Although there are some items in the home documented as to have actually belonged to the family, most of the furnishings did not. When Abraham & Mary Lincoln moved to the White House, some of their household furnishings were given away, but most were sold at a private sale. The family who then rented the Lincoln home purchased several of their furniture pieces and took those items with them when they later moved to Chicago - only to be lost in the great Chicago fire of 1871.

Care has been taken to use period antiques and to replicate the Lincoln furnishings where possible. The original carpeting, window treatments and wallpaper no longer exist. Some window treatments and wallpaper you see in the home are replicas of the originals. Some are not reproductions, but are faithful to the period.

Did you notice the toy drum on the table in the last photo? The home is decorated for Christmas in December, and Lincoln family birthdays are also marked. The day following our visit would have been the birthday of Thomas "Tad" Lincoln - the youngest son of Abraham & Mary Lincoln. The drum represents a birthday gift Tad could have been given in 1860.

Oops! Here's another crooked candle that I really wanted to straighten!

None of the furniture in the sitting room looks very comfortable - especially for someone of Abraham Lincoln's height. No wonder he often chose to sit on the floor in this room.

The tour now heads upstairs via the staircase in the foyer.

At the top of the steps, there's a small sitting area in front of you, and the guest room is on your left.

The guest room is a large, comfortable room with green & white wallpaper and green blinds at the windows.

Their overnight guests had their own washstand and chamber pot.

That's Mary Lincoln's actual shawl on the fainting couch. The shawl makes seasonal appearances in the home.

Let's head across the hall into Abraham Lincoln's bedroom. The wallpaper in this room is an accurate reproduction. I zoomed in closely, as the beautiful blue is difficult to see in wider shots.

The next 3 items are said to have belonged to Mr. Lincoln - this wardrobe,

this bureau,

and this small desk in the corner.

Unfortunately, this isn't Abraham Lincoln's original bed,

but they believe this was his shaving mirror.

Here's a look back to the front of the room. You can see the small sitting area in the hallway.

Mary Lincoln's room adjoins her husband's room and has the same wallpaper.

Abraham & Mary Lincoln did not always have separate bedrooms. Separate bedrooms were a luxury one would acquire as finances made it possible.

The younger boys would sleep in their mother's room in a trundle bed until oldest son, Robert, moved out to further his education.

Our guide told us that Mary Lincoln would be horrified to know that tourists were making inquires about her chamber pot. Yes, I was the one who asked about it! This is a pretty great chamber pot, though. Don't you think?

Mary Lincoln suffered from migraine headaches, so I'm sure she often retreated to this pleasant, darkened room when she was feeling ill.

That concludes the second part of my Lincoln home tour. We'll see the rest of the upstairs, head back down to the kitchen, and out to the backyard in the final installment in this series.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Spectacular Sunsets

I've shared many sunset photos with you here on the blog - especially as Sunday Reflections photos. The vast majority of those photos have been shots of sunsets over Lake Superior. We had 2 especially beautiful sunset nights last week, and today's photos were all taken from our patio doors in the great room - showing the sun setting in back of the trees in our woods.

Wasn't that orange sky incredible? Just before that, it looked like this.

And this.

It's amazing how quickly it can go from one color to another.

Who needs TV? 

That's all for today. I'll be back sometime on Wednesday with part 2 of Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, IL.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Patriotic Peek

It's Flag Day! Hope you're flying your flag!

In honor of the spirit of patriotism I'm feeling today, I thought it would be a good day to show you a peek at some of my summer patriotic decor. First up, I restyled the crates on the wall in our dining area.

That's a placemat from Dollar Tree serving as the background in the lower crate - just taped in place. I pulled an old plate out of the china cabinet for the background in the top crate, and I used my Patriotic Checkered Birdhouse here this year.

The candle is just one of those emergency candles from Dollar Tree with red, silver & blue Dollar Tree necklaces (3/$1) wrapped around it.

I have a fluffy yarn wreath on the wall in the laundry room. I removed the spring butterflies I had on it and hung a USA sign over it for a quick update. Can't get much simpler than that!

See you with part 2 of the tour of Abraham Lincoln's home soon!

All is well in the Keweenaw.