One Tank Trips: Mary Todd Lincoln House

By: Courtney Lassiter Email
By: Courtney Lassiter Email

The Mary Todd Lincoln House isn't hard to find standing almost in the shadow of Rupp Arena and the Lexington Convention Center.

It was built in the 1800's, not as a home, but as an inn and stagecoach stop. Mary Todd and her family moved to Lexington when she was 13.
She lived here in the years leading up to her marriage to Abraham Lincoln in 1842.

"It was in this home that I guess began my tutelage in politics which I always loved. I was allowed to join my parents in the formal dining room and listen in on those political conversations," Glenna Holloway said, reinacting the late Mary Todd Lincoln.

"Beula Nunn was the Governor's wife when this house was about to be torn down to become a parking lot. It was in deplorable condition and she had a great deal of vision to see it was important to preserve it at this time," Holloway said as she told the story dressed in perhaps what Mary Todd would have wornm, as she brought the future president here for a visit.

"They were traveling from Springfield to Washington D.C. for Mr. Lincoln to take his one and only term in the Congress of the United States," Holloway explained.

The Todds were a wealthy family and the 14-room house contains some impressive period furniture along with a number of mementos and family portraits.

"We're very proud of the furniture in the ladies parlor of the house. It's made of hand-carved rosewood by Mr. John Henry Belcher. Mary shared this bedroom with her sister Ann and a cousin who came to town to go to school," Holloway added.

Mary Todd Lincoln's years in this home were much more enjoyable than her later years in Washington. Three of her four sons died in her presence and she was often the object of scorn.

"That she had had brothers who fought for the Confederacy caused her to be met with a great deal of suspicion and one newspaper even accused her of being a Confederate spy. Then in the South many people felt that the fact that she was married to the president of the Union made her a traitor to her Southern heritage," Holloway explained, but here at the Mary Todd Lincoln house, she's remembered for being the wife of one of the greatest U.S. presidents of all time.

Mary Todd Lincoln House

  • Mon. - Sat.

  • Until Nov. 30

  • Tours 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

  • 859-233-9999


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