Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Goats, Mansion, Observatory, Pullman, Gardens, Cheese, Lincoln all in one place.

North Clarendon, Vermont
Iroquois Land Family Campground

How do I begin to explain what we saw today?  

We drove down to Manchester today.  Since we've been in Vermont, this village is probably the prettiest place we've seen.  

When I saw that Hildene was the Lincoln family home, I wondered why we've never heard of it.  What do you picture when you hear, a Lincoln family home?  Do you picture as estate of 412 acres with a 24 room, 8,000 square foot mansion?  
 Robert Lincoln, who was the only child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to reach adulthood, was the president of the Pullman Company which was the largest manufacturing company in the United States.  

As we walked up to the house, we were greeted by a docent who said that the Franklin car is driven up to the house on days that there is no rain.  I want that job!  It is a 1928 convertible with a rumble seat.

There was an additional charge for a guided tour of the home for $7.50 over the $20.00 admission fee.  We decided we could do the self guided tour.  

Twice a week all of the fresh flower arrangements are changed and come from flowers grown on the estate.

Nearly all of the furnishing were in the mansion when the non-profit Friends of Hildene purchased the home in 1978.
The wood is Vermont poplar which when stained looks like mahogany.  

The staircase was beautiful and very intricate.

The library was very masculine and had many books.

When the restoration began, these drawers on the walls contained some original paperwork.  This was Lincoln's secretary, Mr. Towers, office.

President Taft visited Hildene in 1912 and 1913 and occupied this room.  This room is unrestored and looks exactly as it was found in 1978.
I found the annunciator box which had flags identifying the room in the house that needed attention from the servants.

The Butler's pantry.
The butler was the only servant that had a room on the main level.

Robert moved downstairs to this room in 1908 due to health issues.  In the center of the headboard of the bed is a carving of the Masonic symbol.  

There were letters documenting Robert's mother's insanity hearing found in this safe. 
Here's a view from the upstairs sitting room of the gardens.

This is the hat and mirror that Abraham Lincoln used prior to going to Ford Theater.  

The gardens were beautiful and so serene.

This is the back of the house from the gardens.

The views were fantastic.

The observatory was actually used.  
Notice the retractable ceiling.  

The equipment looked old today, but in it's day I would think it was state of the art.

You can tell how far we walked from the house to the observatory.  The welcome center was down over the hill.
Was I ever glad to learn that they have a little golf cart trolley that takes you to the other exhibits if you don't want to walk the 12 miles of trails.

The Sunbeam Pullman Car just reeks of money.

The Sunbeam was built in 1903 and has been fully restored.
Look at the hand carving on the pull down bunk and the beautiful lighting.

You can tell we rode the golf cart to the farm.  Bill captured me in the rear view mirror.

I loved the Nubian goats.

They milk six goats at a time unfortunately we just missed it.

They gave a demonstration on making goat cheese.

I wish they would have given out samples.

No two goats looked alike.

These boys wanted some attention too.

I wonder how many men ever tried to see what would happen if they ..........

By now we were both getting tired.  This was the cutting room where they took cuttings from the plants and arranged the flowers.

It was a great tour and very different than what we expected.  

On the way back home, we stopped at Orvis.  It was there flagship building.

There also was a fly fishing museum that I'm sure Eddie Gannon wouldn't have passed up but we didn't stop.

We also passed at least a mile of these tents which were temporary horse stalls for a horse show.

I couldn't pull off the side of the road as there was traffic, but there were steeples set up and horses jumping them.

Another great day in Vermont.  

Turtle Safely..........


  1. Wow you sure do see some wonderful places, much more than we would ever do, but nice to tag along.

    1. We'll probably never come back to this area, so we don't want to miss anything.

  2. Oh my gosh...what a neat day. I would love to do that tour. I real a series of books about the Pullman trolleys.
    I love goat cheese.

    1. Maybe if you saw how they made the cheese, you wouldn't like it.


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