Tourist In Our Own Backyard

Mending needles and thread at Hildene.

On Saturday Jon and I became tourists, just a half-hour from our own home.  We visited Hildene, the house of Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln in Manchester, Vermont.

I wasn’t thinking about the leaves and it being one of the prime seasons  in Vermont.  But as I noticed all the cars on the road I realized that we were in the company of people who had traveled greater distances than we had to see the changing leaves and visit the historic home.

Although we’ve driven past it hundreds of times, neither of us had ever visited Hildene.

I’ve been to many historic houses in my lifetime, all over the country.  There was even a point in my life when I vowed I never visit another.

But I haven’t been to one in years and never to any with Jon.

It reminded me how much I love to have a peek into the lives and homes of other people and get a feeling for the things that were important to them and how they lived.

Visiting historic homes has always felt to me like being able to walk into a dollhouse.  With all the rooms set up the way they would have been when the houses were lived in.  And often with personal pieces from the peoples lives.

It’s those intimate things I love to see the most.  An artist’s paintbrushes, shoes in the closet, a favorite tea cup, and as in the photo above, the sewing pins and needles, used by the maids to mend clothing, in the laundry room.

Jon and I became tourists for a day in our own backyard.  Makes me want to do it again next weekend.

Me and Jon in one of the eight bedrooms at Hildene.


8 thoughts on “Tourist In Our Own Backyard

  1. maria, I sent to you from California, last week, a collection of family cloth, some from my 101 yo neighbor, some from estate sales the enticed me. And many just collected during my 67 years on this earth. I hope you find some pieces interesting, useable and fun in your fabulous work.

    With Love and Light, Marilyn Erb, Fresno California

    1. Oh Thank you Marilyn. I haven’t gotten them yet, but will let you know when I do. It sounds wonderful! I really appreciate your thinking of me.

  2. For years (from about 5th through 10th grades) we lived in the D.C. suburbs of Maryland. I lost track of how many times I had to go to Mount Vernon when out of state relatives visited. And D.C. weather is no treat in the middle of the summer, particularly when you’re driving around in an un-airconditioned car with a bunch of cousins you haven’t seen in years looking for a parking place so you can walk for endless miles through all the monuments. But I still have a soft spot for Williamsburg.

  3. I just finished a historical fiction book called Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters, it was good. With this type book they do take some liberties but you do read a lot of factual info also.

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