Lincoln Home National Historic Site Unveils a Living History Heirloom Garden
Have you ever wondered what Abraham Lincoln ate? Visitors can learn first-hand by enjoying the new living history heirloom garden, located behind the Harriet Dean house, within Lincoln Home National Historic Site (NHS) neighborhood.
Modeled after a mid-19th century kitchen garden, the plot features a wide variety of herbs, vegetables, flowers, and grapes which were common in Mr. Lincoln’s time. Knowledgeable garden volunteers answer questions and inform the public about the plants, gardening techniques, and tools of the mid-19th century from noon to 4 PM, on Sundays, and from 8 a.m. to 5 PM, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
More than forty volunteers from the Christian County Master Gardeners, Sangamon and Menard County Master Gardeners, and the Springfield Civic Garden Club care for the garden. Assistance was also received from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library research staff who found historic garden documentation, Boy Scout Troop 32 from St. Agnes in Springfield who installed the fence and grape arbor, the Taylorville High School botany students who helped start many of the seeds, under the direction of Mary Dawson, and maintenance staff from Lincoln Home NHS who helped prep the planting area.
As part of the “Plant a Row for the Hungry” program, garden produce is being donated to the Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry in downtown Springfield. The Living History Heirloom Garden is one of many new features that have been added to the historic neighborhood in commemoration of the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
Stop in or call the Lincoln Home NHS Visitor Center, located at 426 South Seventh Street, Springfield, Illinois, for directions to see the heirloom garden. The historic site is open seven days a week with extended hours from 8:30 a.m. to 7 PM through September 7. Anyone wishing to obtain further information about this program or other Bicentennial programs should contact Lincoln Home NHS at 217-391-3221.