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[graphic] Mary Todd Lincoln House
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[photo]
Mary Todd Lincoln House
Photograph by Eric Thomason, courtesy of Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation

This simple two story brick building on West Main Street was home to Robert S. Todd and his family, including his daughter Mary, wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Mary Todd was not born at this house but moved here with her family in 1832 when she was 14 years old. For four years Mary attended boarding school during the week but returned home on the weekends. She continued to live at the West Main address until 1839, when she moved to Springfield, Illinois, to live with her sister, Mrs. Ninian Edwards. It was here that she eventually married a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln in 1842.

[photo]
Mary Todd Lincoln House in 1948
Courtesy of J. Winston Coleman, Jr., Transylvania University Special Collections

The house was built c.1803-1806 as an inn and was called "The Sign of the Green Tree" before its purchase by the Todd family. A contemporary of Henry Clay and John Wesley Hunt, Robert S. Todd was a Lexington businessman and politician. Todd was the president of the Lexington Branch of the Bank of Kentucky and also served in the Kentucky General Assembly for 24 years. He was actively involved in the grocery business in Lexington as well as a cotton-manufacturing firm.

The Mary Todd Lincoln house has the distinction of being the first historic site restored in honor of a First Lady. The home is operated by the Kentucky Mansions Preservation Foundation, Inc. and was opened to the public on June 9, 1977. After Robert S. Todd's death the home was auctioned. An inventory from this auction became the guide to furnish the house museum, and some family pieces have been returned to the home through donations by the Todd and Lincoln families.

The Mary Todd Lincoln House is a private, non-profit museum located at 578 West Main St. It is open Monday-Saturday from March 15-November 30; guided tours are available hourly from 10:00am to 3:00pm,  admission charged. For more information call 859-233-9999 or visit the house's website.

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