Hildene was the home of Robert Todd Lincoln, son of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Located in Manchester, Vermont, Hildene was constructed in 1905 as a summer home for Robert Todd Lincoln, chairman of Pullman Company, the largest manufacturing business of the era, and son of President Abraham Lincoln. The Georgian Revival mansion was built on 400 acres of land and only Lincolns lived in the home until 1975.


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The last descendant of Lincoln’s to live in Hildene was Peggy Beckwith who left the home to Church of Christ, Scientist, upon her death. The will had one stipulation--that the church keep Hildene as a memorial, but the church was not up to the task and went to sell Hildene. A nonprofit group, Friends of HIldene, won the right in court to purchase Hildene and raised the funds to do so in 1978. They began the restoration process the same year.

Today, visitors can tour the property including the mansion, 13 historic buildings, an observatory, formal garden, the solar powered goat, dairy, and cheese making facilities, and stop into the welcome center and gift shop. The walking trails are only open for walking in the summer months however. In the winter the pavilion across from the Welcome Center transforms into Nordic Rental and the walking trails become ski slopes and snowshoeing trails. Ski Season is from mid-December to mid-March weather permitting.

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2.Tours & Exhibits

Tours & Exhibits
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There are thousands of visitors to the Lincoln Home, grounds of Hildene and walking trails daily. The staff at Hildene can accommodate guided tours that are scheduled, groups tours and school tours, and self-guided tours. Visits to Hildene take 3-4 hours for most visitors. Guided tours have seasonal hours and have an additional cost, more information can be found on the Hildene website.

There are 12 miles of walking trails at Hildene. House visits begin in the Welcome Center with a video presentation. Visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour of the Lincoln home, stroll the Hoyt Garden and listen to a live 1,000-pipe organ, visit the observatory, Kitchen Garden, and Hildene Farm. There is no food allowed on the farm, although picnic lunches are available everywhere else on the grounds.

Tours for the visually impaired can be scheduled by appointment.


The American Ideal: Abraham Lincoln and the Second Inaugural Address- In this exhibit Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address is taken apart according to its thirteen clauses and arranged in a circular pattern. There is a discussion that accompanies each of the clauses along with artifacts that pertain to the President such as a stovepipe hat that was once worn by President Lincoln.

1903 Pullman Palace Car Sunbeam- Set up on the African American Heritage Trail, this exhibit called “Many Voices” highlights the time of the Pullman Porters and the rise of the black middle class in New England.

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3.Plan your Visit

Plan your Visit
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Educational Opportunities

The school programs at Hildene use the entire property, including the wetlands, forests and vernal pool, are experiential, inquiry based, and support Next Generations Science Standards, Common Core State Standards. There are 18 different programs that are currently offered through Hildene for school field trips. Some programs focus on science such as pollination, gastric microbes and goat cheese, Wetlands, streams, and more, while others are history based and can educate students on the life of the Lincoln family, Pullman Porters, The Hollow School, Historic Crafts, the Civil War, and Telegraph among many others. More in-depth information about the field trip programs offered at Hildene can be found online.

Hildene also offer summer camps annually. These camps are divided up by age groups and have different themes. These camps can change themes every year. Camps fill up quickly and advanced registration is required. Campers can learn about many different science related topics such as bug adaptations, wetland communities, agriculture and farming, outdoor wilderness and survival, world cultures, and plants.

Special Events

Hildene is a popular venue for weddings and other private events. With valley and mountain views, Hildene is perfect for outdoor ceremonies and garden receptions. Hildene can also host corporate functions and other formal events.

There are special events that happen throughout the year and are open to the public at Hildene. These events are always listed on the online Calendar at www.hildene.org and are updated regularly. Bird walks are a regular event that happen once or twice a month in which local birders meet to conduct a bird survey present on Hildene grounds. There are also many lectures and walk and talk events planned.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Vermont, Things to Do in Manchester

1005 Hildene Road, Manchester, Vermont, 05254, Phone: 802-362-1788

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Hildene in Manchester, Vermont