My Favorite DC Hidden Gem #3

Happy Friday Friends!

I recently visited President Lincoln’s Cottage, formerly known as Anderson Cottage. It was built between 1842-1843 for George Washington Riggs (a wealthy DC banker) who then sold it to the federal government in 1851 for the purpose of building a home for veteran soldiers. This 1842 Gothic Revival-style mansion is located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) in the Petworth neighborhood.  This home stands on 251 acres atop the third highest point in Washington. 

This gem of a place was opened to the public February 19, 2008 and where Lincoln lived approximately a quarter of his presidency, he lived with his wife and youngest son, Tad. President Lincoln would ride every morning to the White House and returned to the home every evening.  He made some of his most critical decisions that defined his presidency in this home and where he drafted the preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.

This hour long tour is an interesting, informative, and engaging experience where you get an intimate glimpse into the life of Lincoln. Even though the cottage is nearly empty,there’s a few well chosen pieces, a reproduction of the presidential desk that is now in the White House, a rocking chair and a few sofa chairs for guests to sit on. So for those coming with the hopes of seeing it fully furnished may leave a bit disappointed. I usually prefer something to look at, so I can imagine it as it was when President Lincoln lived there, but to my surprise it wasn’t hard to imagine!  It was pretty impressive to walk the rooms and peer through the very same windows that Lincoln knew.  I also imagined the stress and turmoil he must of felt during the civil war.  

 It’s a must see tour for those that enjoy history. Again, for someone with a short attention span like myself, this was an amazing experience as the museum did an awesome job focusing on Lincoln’s leadership and private life in this place.

The home was designated a National Historic Landmark on November 7, 1973, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 1974.

Tickets are required for this tour.

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