Last Updated on August 19, 2014 by Ellen Christian
My Mom and I took a day trip to Hildene in Manchester Vermont. Hildene is the family home of Robert Lincoln. Robert Lincoln was the only child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to adulthood. As an adult, he returned to Vermont and purchased 500 acres of land to build what would become the Lincoln family home for 70 years. 412 acres of the original estate are still intact. Thank you to Hildene for sponsoring my visit.
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Hildene in Manchester Vermont
Hildene is a Georgian Revival Mansion that was built in 1905. During that time period, it was considered to be a cottage. Self guided tours are available throughout the home. I loved being able to see how the Lincolns lived. The bedrooms and living area were absolutely beautiful. My favorite room was the kitchen where it was set up to look like it was in the middle of meal preparation. I just fell in love with that old cast iron stove. Visitors can watch a video presentation about the family in the Welcome Center when they first arrive. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photographs inside the home but trust me, it’s amazing.
After you have completed the self guided tour, you can walk through the formal garden. Robert’s daughter, Jessie, designed the formal garden in 1907 as a gift for her mother. There are closely cropped privet hedges laid out to resemble a stained glass window when seen from her mother’s second floor sitting room. The formal garden is absolutely gorgeous and was replanted using flowers of like colors based on the original. There is a pergola at the end of the garden that was recreated from historical photos.
There are other types of gardens that you can visit at Hildene as well. Gardens include Cutting and Kitchen Gardens, Butterfly Garden, Observatory Garden and Soft Fruit Cage. You can also visit Sunbeam, a 1903 Pullman palace car. This exhibit is a stop on Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail. The Rowland Agricultural Center allows the public to view the cheese-making process from milking Hildene’s herd of Nubian goats through processing and packaging as well as the aging room
One of my favorite parts of our visit to Hildene in Manchester Vermont was the wagon ride that took us on a journey from the Welcome Center down the Maple Trail, through the meadows and the wetlands.
The wagon ride stops at one end of the Floating Boardwalk and allowed us to walk over the 600′ floating boardwalk to the other end where we got back on the wagon.
We took the Farm Trail and stopped at the farm to see the sheep and chickens and then continued on to visit the 1832 Schoolhouse and then returned to the Welcome Center. The entire trip took us about two hours and was absolutely gorgeous.
Hildene, the Museum Store, exhibits, observatory and many gardens are open daily, year round except for major holidays. I recommend you allow at least 4 hours to see everything that Hildene has to offer. Hildene is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Ellen is a busy mom of a 22-year-old son and 27-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.