• Inside the Lincoln Sitting Room

    Lincoln Home

    National Historic Site Illinois

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  • Lincoln Home Tours During Busy Season

    Please be advised that tours of the Lincoln home fill rapidly during our busy summer season. We suggest that you visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Visitor Center early in the day for your best opportunity to receive a tour of the Lincoln home.

Grasses

Nature and Science

Big Bluestem

unknown photo

Grasses were a significant part of the tallgrass prairie in this region of the Midwest. Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) were two of the dominant grasses in this area. Both grew upwards of 3’ tall. In the early 1800s, European settlers began converting the prairie into small towns, agricultural fields, and small farms. The prairie grasses disappeared and crops took their place. Livestock grazed other parts of the prairie and depleted the supply of natural vegetation. During Mr. Lincoln’s residency, from 1844-1861, prairie grasses existed in some undeveloped areas of central Illinois. Today, at Lincoln Home, prairie grasses are not featured in the landscape. Ornamental grasses are seen in the parking lot and visitor center. The lawns in Mr. Lincoln’s neighborhood are contemporary grasses made up of common lawn grasses and others which are mowed regularly to control weeds.

Did You Know?

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Lincoln never returned to the family home in Springfield after the death of Abraham Lincoln. She instead lived in Chicago and in Europe until returning to her sister's house in Springfield later in life. Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois