Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Springfield, United States

Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the Springfield, Illinois home and a historic district where Abraham Lincoln lived from 1844 to 1861, before becoming the 16th President of the United States. The presidential memorial includes the four blocks surrounding the home and a visitor center.

Around the world Abraham Lincoln is a symbol of liberty and equality of opportunity. His journey through life began in humble surroundings in a log cabin in Kentucky and ended as President of the United States in the White House.

In 1837, Lincoln moved to Springfield from New Salem at the start of his law career. He met his wife, Mary Todd, at her sister’s home in Springfield and married there in 1842.

The historic-site house, purchased by Lincoln and his wife in 1844, was the only home that Lincoln ever owned. Their children, four sons, were born there and one, Eddie died there. Located at the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets, the house contains twelve rooms spread over two floors. During the time he lived here, Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846, and elected President in 1860.

Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln donated the family home to the State of Illinois in 1887 under the condition that it would forever be well maintained and open to the public at no charge. This came as a result of tenants who would charge those who wanted to visit Lincoln’s home and that many tenants tended to leave the home in disrepair. The home and Lincoln Tomb, also in Springfield, were designated National Historic Landmarks on December 19, 1960, and automatically listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. The home and adjacent district became a National Historic Site on August 18, 1971 and is owned and administered by the National Park Service. It is one of two National Park Service properties in Illinois.

Along with the Lincoln Home, several other structures within the four-block area are also preserved. All the homes have been restored to their appearance during the time Lincoln lived in the neighborhood. Two of these structures, the Dean House and the Arnold House, are open to visitors and house exhibits on the life and times of Lincoln and his neighbors. In total, the buildings included in the park occupy 12 acres (49,000 m2).

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Nearby in Springfield are the Old State Capitol where Lincoln served as a State Legislator, the building which housed the law offices of Lincoln and his partner William Herndon from 1844 until 1852, and the Lincoln Depot from which Lincoln left the city for his 1861 inauguration.

The items featured in this collection highlight Abraham Lincoln’s political and legal careers, his home, and his family.

Lincoln’s home in downtown Springfield has proved irresistible to visitors since it first opened to the public in 1887. Constructed in 1839 and beautifully restored to its 1860 appearance, the 12-room, Greek Revival house was Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s home for 17 years.

Today, the Lincolns’ home draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Admission to tour the house is free, but tickets are issued on a first-come, first-served basis and often fill up quickly. Each tour is limited to 15 individuals. Pick up a ticket inside the Lincoln Home Visitor Center for the 20-25 minute tour of the home. The first tour of the day begins at 9am, with the last tour begining at 4:30pm.

The ranger-led tour looks at the Lincoln family in the seventeen years they resided in the house on the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets. Abraham Lincoln’s rise as a successful lawyer and politician, along with his 1860 presidential campaign are also explored.

Learn more about Abraham Lincoln’s political and legal careers, his home, and his family in a virtual exhibit.Abraham, Mary, and their sons Robert, Eddie, Willie, and Tad lived at their home on the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets in Springfield, IL for seventeen years. Take a tour of the house, see the toys the boys played with, find a recipe for Mary Lincoln’s white cake, and learn more about what has happened to Lincoln’s image and his home since the family left for Washington in 1861.