Staff Spotlight: Favorite Photos of President Lincoln's Cottage

In the spirit of reflection at the end of our 10th anniversary year, President Lincoln’s Cottage staff picked their favorite photo of the Cottage, ever. See our picks and why we chose them below:

I picked one of my favorites that tells a timeless story as 2018 draws to a close and we enter 2019. It’s a photograph from our first Youth Naturalization Ceremony hosted for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services back in 2013. The ceremony was held inside the Emancipation Proclamation room of the Cottage. The first thing you see in this picture is how joyful and proud the children are. The meaning deepens when you realize that moments earlier they had their own historic, life-changing moment, in a house where Lincoln had many nation-changing moments. It’s a photo that speaks to the promise of the Cottage and of our country. It’s a promise that we will continue to preserve this place and share the beliefs Lincoln nurtured and advanced here, and that those ideas are as important as ever to our country and to all who believe in the American idea. – Erin Carlson Mast

I’ve always been interested in how the Cottage has changed through the years and what it has meant, not just to the Lincolns, but to all of the people that have lived, worked and played here. I like this image because it shows what is today the Drawing Room, as a completely different space in a completely different time being used, clearly, in a completely different way. – Jeff Larry

I love that this is not a straight-on photo. It’s almost as though someone is peering at the Cottage through the trees. It’s still, quiet, and a little mysterious. – Lacey Shaw

Photo by Lovefusion Photography

This is one of my favorite photos because it’s striking, but also because I would never be able to do this. – Callie Hawkins

I’ve participated in many different public programs at President Lincoln’s Cottage, but I think the most meaningful was Lincoln’s Last Ride in April 2015. Lincoln’s daily commute separated the demanding and often frustrating work at the White House from the reflection and meaning he enjoyed at the Cottage. Retracing this path, in commemoration of his last ride to the Cottage, was quite moving—especially with horses and riders from the Fort Myer Caisson Platoon echoing his funeral procession. So I chose the photo of the riderless horse standing opposite our statue of Lincoln not just because of the great symmetry. I also chose it because it symbolizes the type of groundbreaking, thought-provoking public programs we take pride in at President Lincoln’s Cottage. – Zach Klitzman

To celebrate the legacy of President Lincoln, we recreated his commute route from and to Soldiers’ Home on the 150th anniversary of his last visit – the day before his assassination. The Last Ride program is still one of my favorite programs we have ever planned. It was a special day to commemorate Lincoln’s commute while celebrating his legacy. This photo shows our unique Lincoln statue and the riderless horse, or caparisoned horse, that led the group from downtown to the Cottage. The horse has no rider, and has a pair of boots in the stirrups facing backwards to symbolize a fallen leader. The first to be officially honored with the riderless horse at his funeral procession was Abraham Lincoln. The horse in this photograph is “Sergeant York,” and he served as the riderless horse in President Ronald Reagan’s funeral procession. – Michelle Martz

Photo by Bruce Guthrie

I really like this photo of Curtis, a Museum Program Associate, leading a Lincoln’s Hat program. I like how the composition of this photo makes it seem as if Lincoln has stopped to speak to the kids as well. – Joan Cummins

My favorite photo of the Cottage is a painted photograph by Henry Ulke. It shows in the background the earliest depiction of the rarely photographed north side of the Cottage. This circa 1860’s portrait is incredibly interesting in that its main subject is Janet Shedden Riggs, the wife of the wealthy banker who had the Cottage built. One can only imagine how special the Cottage was to their family in that she decided to have her portrait done in front of it 10 years after they sold it to the federal government. Coincidentally, Henry Ulke was living in the boarding house across the street Ford’s Theatre the night of the assassination, and his brother is assumed to be the person who photographed Lincoln’s death bed. Gives me the shivers! – Sahand Miraminy

Photo by Taylor Horst

I just love seeing the Cottage covered in snow, it makes everything seem peaceful and warm. It reinforces what we’ve all called the house: a sanctuary. – Kevin Lukacs

Photo by Bruce Guthrie

This picture was taken back in 2016 when the Cottage had an art installation. I love this photo because it shows how creative historic sites can be when it comes to teaching the public about history. – Diana Chicas

My favorite time to be in the Cottage is at night. There is something almost magical about the way the house glows with the lamplight. It makes me imagine how cozy the drawing room would be, full of Abe and guests reading aloud from books, propping weary feet up, sipping tea, or even laughing at the end of a long day. – Jenny Phillips

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