This past summer I took a day trip into Washington to visit the Lincoln Summer Cottage in the northern portion of the city at the Soldiers’ Home.

This retreat was especially enjoyed by the President during the Civil War, as it afforded him the opportunity to get out of the city. He was also able to be near the soldiers, whom he much enjoyed.

The house sat on a higher elevation than downtown Washington, and afforded some breezes and relief from the heat of the city. Though it is in a rather older surrounding city neighborhood now, in the early 1860s, this was the country!

The house itself is still somewhat a work in progress – only being restored and opened to the public for a handful of years (since early 2008 I believe). I am not suggesting it is not worth seeing, but I believe it will be increasingly enhanced. The nearby museum is especially good, and regular tour groups are briefed and then taken through the home.

The tour guide I had the day I visited did a very good job of explaining things. He mentioned a book that was written by one of his college professors – Matthew Pinsker – “Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Home.”  I looked at the book (and did buy it), and noted that the professor is from Dickinson College – where two of my sons attended, as well as my daughter-in-law. Seeing the tour guide still in the museum, I mentioned this to him, and he knew my daughter-in-law, and even ran in the same cross country program with her.

If you go, you are able to park inside the military installation. Just drive up to the gate and the guard will direct you to a specific parking area for your visit. I did not initially understand this, and parked on a nearby street and walked in, which was fine – but unnecessary.

Here is a link to the cottage:

About Randy Buchman

I live in Western Maryland, and among my too many pursuits and hobbies, I regularly feed multiple hungry blogs. I played college baseball, coached championship cross country teams at Williamsport (MD) High School, and have been a sportswriter for various publications and online venues. My main profession is as the lead pastor of a church in Hagerstown called Tri-State Fellowship. And I'm active in Civil War history and work/serve at Antietam National Battlefield with the Antietam Battlefield Guides organization. Occasionally I sleep.

3 responses »

  1. […] of the Lincoln Summer Cottage, about which you may read my post from March of this year by clicking HERE. The picture is of this cemetery, and the next time I visit this location, I am going to search out […]

  2. […] Yesterday I ventured into Washington to visit again at the Lincoln Summer Cottage, known to be the place that, in 1862, President Lincoln worked upon codifying and drafting his thoughts on the issue of emancipation. The cottage is a way cool site that every Civil War enthusiast needs to have on his short list of must-see places. To read about my summer visit there in 2011, click HERE. […]

  3. […] I have written about previously both HERE and HERE, I enjoy visiting this restored location; and it should be a must-see on the itinerary of any Civil […]

Leave a Reply to The Summer of 1863 in Washington | Enfilading Lines Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s