Are there living descendants of Abraham Lincoln
Hildene in Manchester Vermont: where Lincoln's grandchildren lived
Our drive through Vermont brings us to the pretty town of Manchester, which is just as you would imagine a New England place to be: with a white-painted church on the village green, well-tended villas with lovingly tended front gardens, in which magnificent shrubs and flower arrangements attract attention, and the typically nice New England decorations that embellish the entrance doors, verandas or garden gates. Here we would like to spend a whole day looking at the houses and gardens. However, we are expected in a mansion a little outside the town: in Hildene in Manchester Vermont, where the descendants of the American President Abraham Lincoln once lived. Lincoln himself was never here. And whether he, who was born in a simple log cabin on a farm in Kentucky, would have understood that his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren lived in such magnificent surroundings, remains to be seen.
In any case, we are impressed by Hildene in Manchester Vermont with his mansion, which sits enthroned on a mountain ledge above the valley and offers wide views of the valley and the Green Mountains on the other side of the valley. It was the residence of Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest son of Abraham Lincoln, who was the only one of Lincoln's children to survive into adulthood. He had come here at the age of 20 while visiting with his mother and younger brother. Forty years later, as President of the Pullman Company, he bought the property in Manchester and built the present mansion on it in 1905. Two years later, the formal garden was created with its lush peonies, which attract numerous visitors from around the world each June when it is in bloom attract. Jesse Lincoln had this garden laid out as a birthday present for her mother. We are lucky to be here at just the right time of year to see the bloom in this garden.
Hildene in Manchester Vermont - great gardens
In the house itself, much of the furniture and memorabilia are from Robert Todd Lincoln and his parents. The house was inhabited by descendants of Abraham Lincoln until 1975. Mary Lincoln Beckwith was the granddaughter of Robert Todd Lincoln and inherited the house in 1938. She lived in it until her death. Her brother Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the last direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln, died in 1985. This means that the house was owned by the Lincoln family until the second half of the 20th century. Today it belongs to Friends of Hildene, who bought it in 1978 and have been looking after it ever since.
What we like best is the view of the surroundings that one has from the park over the valley. Almost as if from an eagle's nest, we look down over the wooded slopes and to the round ridges of the Green Mountains on the other side of the valley. I can well understand what drew Robert Todd Lincoln here and what prompted him to build his family's ancestral home here. And I think that his father, President Abraham Lincoln, would have liked it too: today you are still far from any big city and live in a pastoral setting in the middle of the country. Perhaps that was what impressed his son so much here? Who knows. In any case, he spent the rest of his life in Hildene.
Source: own research on site at the invitation of Discover New England. Our opinion remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
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