Unveiled: the Floor Boards Lincoln Walked on

Continuing with the steps towards restoring the Cottage floors, over the holiday break workers refinished the floors in the Library and the Drawing Room. Since the cocoa matting was removed–the preliminary step to replacing it fully with a slavery-free carpet–visitors have been able to walk on the 1880s flooring.

The lower layer (with the hand) is the original flooring, dating back to 1848–the floor boards Lincoln walked on–while the top layer was applied in the 1880s. Sections of the 1880s flooring were removed recently to make repairs before the entire floor in the library is refinished. The flooring was not refinished during the initial restoration because the entire floor was covered with cocoa matting, but since the new matting will not be wall-to-wall, it is now all being revamped.

While we still haven’t raised the funds to fully replace the cocoa matting with a certified slavery-free option (you can help us do so here!), stay tuned for more updates on the entire preservation process in the next few months.

Our Senior Preservationist Jeff Larry says:

One of my favorite things about working at Lincoln’s Cottage is watching and listening to the stories from the many craftsmen we bring in for our preservation projects. Richard and Dale were onsite this week to repair and refinish the 1880s wood floor in the Drawing Room and Library. Richard started working for his father’s Virginia flooring business as a teenager in the 1950s. Dale teamed up with Richard in the 1970s. Both men, now in their seventies, carry the grace and humility of a seemingly bygone era and are a testament to the power of doing what you love.

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