A Sanctuary

By Shira Gladstone

It was during this time of year, in 1862, 1863, and 1864, when President Lincoln, his wife Mary, and youngest son Tad moved out to the Soldiers’ Home for the summer and early Fall seasons.  This past week’s heat wave reminds us of one of the reasons why President Lincoln was so fond of being at the Cottage – the site gets a lot of fresh, cool air.  The Cottage is situated on one of highest elevations within Washington DC; the land at the Soldiers’ Home is a couple hundred feet higher than areas of the National Mall.  This can sometimes translate into a noteworthy temperature difference between the two locations. Not only did President Lincoln benefit from the cool breezes, but coming to the Soldiers’ Home allowed him to get away from the stench and griminess of downtown Washington DC.  This pastoral setting also provided the Lincolns an escape from the mass of people who flocked to Washington DC during the Civil War.

The Cottage is located three miles north of the White House, in what was then the most rural area in the District. Not only was the President constantly being bothered by uninvited visitors at the White House, but in 1862 the family was also trying to cope with the death of eleven year-old Willie, Abe and Mary’s middle son.  Living at the Cottage, away from downtown Washington, helped them heal from their enormous loss.  For President Lincoln, the Cottage and its surroundings were a retreat where he could enjoy his friends, connect with his family, and discuss important issues with his colleagues.

By hosting an event at our site, you too can experience this unique setting and see why President Lincoln often entertained here.  Both the 1905 Beaux Arts style Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center and the 1842 Gothic Revival style Cottage are available for rentals; tented events, accommodating up to 250 guests, can also take place on adjacent lawn.  The charming spaces are ideal for hosting: cocktail receptions, dinners, weddings, corporate training, BBQs, lectures, luncheons, and business events.  The historical importance of President Lincoln’s Cottage makes it one of the most exceptional rental sites in all of Washington DC. Start planning your Autumn events now!

For more information please visit www.lincolncottage.org/events/index.htm or contact Shira Gladstone, Events Coordinator, at (202) 829-0436 ext. 31232.

Ms. Gladstone is the Events Coordinator at President Lincoln’s Cottage.
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