Mary Todd Lincoln is perhaps one of the most interesting First Ladies to have ever stepped foot in the White House, and this museum in Lexington, KY introduces you to her history and her heart.
The building has been carefully and lovingly restored in the style of the 19th century. The house served as the Todd family home and was Mary Todd’s birthplace and place of residence until she moved to her elder sister’s house in Springfield, Illinois, where she met and married Abraham Lincoln.
The home was built as an inn in 1803; the property then became the home of businessman and politician Robert S. Todd in 1832. Unfortunately, when Mary’s father died, a discrepancy in his will caused the property to go up for public auction; however, this, and the resulting inventory list, meant that it could be restored so accurately and appropriately. The 14-room property is filled with period furniture and furnishings as well as family portraits of both the Todds and the Lincolns, and it acts as a memorial to both. The original building rather conversely contained separate slave quarters, however this has not been restored and instead visitors can enjoy the recently added period-appropriate garden for a pleasant moment of reflection.
The property is under the protection and organization of the Kentucky Mansions Preservation Foundation. They have undertaken various different properties and this isn’t even the first they’ve restored with links to Lincoln. The Mary Todd Lincoln House was restored and then opened to the public in its current iteration as a museum in 1977. The property is run entirely by the nonprofit organization KMPF and its upkeep and running costs are all paid for by the admission, gift shop, and other associated donations.
Throughout the year, the venue also hosts special guest speakers or similar events and you can check the website for more information. The house features on many famous tours of Lexington, thus helping to champion the town’s links to various historically important figures. The venue is an interesting look at the way America used to live and the Todd family keeping slaves highlights just how quickly and dramatically the world can be changed. All it takes is one man and a woman.
Admission and Opening Hours
Tours run every hour Monday to Saturday from 10:00am until the last tour at 3:00pm. Opening hours may change during the winter and it’s best to check the website for the most up-to-date information.
Tours are limited to 15 people per group and are on a first-come first-serve basis. Admission costs $12 for adults and $5 for children.
578 West Main Street, Lexington, KY 40507, Phone: 859-233-9999
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