For the longest time, probably since grammar school, I’ve been fascinated by our 16th president, due to my father’s nightly sit downs at the dinner table. Dad read four history books a The Lincoln Exhibit week, thick amazing non-fiction accountings of the most memorable men in history. He had a fascination with General George Custer too and read everything written about him from our local library.   Dad put the mundane facts he’d learned together in story form and told us…as if in Deep Point of View, like he’d been there himself.   Of course, Lincoln and the Civil War were among one of his favorite topics.

So when the Lincoln Exhibit came to my town by way of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, we had to see it.   It was one of those goose bump-getting days when I realized just how close to American history I had come.

Pictured to the right is my sister Carol, my hubby, Don and yours truly at the entrance to the museum.Lincoln exhibit 1





 Lincoln’s stovepipe hat, protected by a glass case, was the first item we came upon as we entered the museum rooms!  It was a “You had me at the hat” kind of moment that made the price of admission well worth it… ten times so.   There are only three such Lincoln hats in existence, and this one looked nearly untouched.  Dear Abe would use the deep well inside the hat to carry important papers and documents from room to room or building to building.  I love that!   

 Lincoln's Stovepipe hat

 Here’s Lincoln’s pocket watch, also in great shape.


Lincoln's watch  







This is a replica of a room used in Steven Spielberg’s film, Lincoln.  I’m told it’s authentic —a place where Lincoln worked with senators and congressmen during his terms. 

Lincoln room








A replica of Mary Todd Lincoln’s room. 

Lincoln room







And this image was perhaps the most memorable.   It’s a replica of the room where Lincoln took his last breaths.  In the forefront, encased in glass is the ACTUAL pillow that cushioned Lincoln’s head as he lay dying.  The blood stains are his.   

 Lincoln room pillow







As we exited the Lincoln rooms, this eerily life-like bust was waiting for us. The attention to detail was amazing to see.  The entire exhibit overall was fascinating and I hope if this exhibit visits your town, you’ll have a chance to enjoy it.

Lincoln's bust


Some favorite Lincoln’s quotes:

A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have.
Abraham Lincoln

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln


Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

Are you a museum goer? What’s the most memorable exhibit you’ve seen or want to see? I hope you enjoyed the blog today. Leave a comment about Lincoln and exhibits and be entered in a drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift card! 

And be sure to look for  The Secret Heir of Sunset Ranch! 

Available for pre-order and DISCOUNTED on AMAZON 

The Secret Heir of Sunset Ranch


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Back from his tour of duty, wealthy Nevada rancher Justin Slade gets the shock of his life. The woman who shared his bed eighteen months ago is in his hometown with a son in tow…who looks just like Justin!
 Katherine Grady is hiding a dark past, but when she realizes Justin seduced her under false pretenses, she’s livid…even if she still finds him as irresistible as ever. Will their secrets keep them apart, or will her hero fight for what’s his?
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40 thoughts on “LINCOLN AND ME and a GIVEAWAY!!”

  1. Just seeing pictures of these articles gave me goosebumps. I can’t imagine how thrilling it must have been to have been that close to history.

    P.S. I can’t wait to read the new book.

  2. Museums definitely make history come to life and feel more real. I’ve always admired President Lincoln.

    This past July we visited the Rahr- West Art and Mansion Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It featured an exhibit of Frank LLoyd Wright. I was interested as there is a house designed by Frank LLoyd Wright, the Bernard Schwartz House, a few doors down from the house where I grew up. I used to sell the Schwartz’s Girl Scout cookies!

    The museum also features the tour of the Joseph Vilas Jr’s home complete with a doll house, art work, furniture, books, sculptors…beautiful hand-carved wood floors and staircase, stained glass windows and ornate light fixtures. It was so much fun to step back in time. Fireplaces in most of the rooms too.

    A piece of the Sputnik space craft fell in Manitowoc 51 years ago. They made a few replicas of the piece and it is displayed in the museum too.

    We also visited a Geology Museum in the University of Wisconsin’s Geology Building in Madison. It was so amazing seeing dinosaurs, even a mastodon that was found on a farm in Kansas. The gorgeous rocks from all over the world. Fossils too.

  3. This is such an interesting exhibit. I haven’t been to a museum in a long time. But, I am always interested to see and learn things if I have the chance.

  4. I loved this! My mother is a fanatic about Lincoln also. She would love to see this exhibit. We just had the Titanic exhibit in our town this summer and boy was that eerie and chilling to see. I do appreciate how these kinds of exhibits and museums bring history to life for us. Great post!
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

  5. I haven’t gone to a museum for a long time, but I like going to museums when I can. I think the last time I went to museum I visited The National Museum of Finland.

  6. Seeing the photos brought this exhibit to life. What an experience. We visited the Titanic exhibit which was fascinating and unforgettable.

  7. I love so many of Lincoln’s quotes, especially, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” This is so true! One of my favorite exhibits was when a good portion of things owned by John Wayne were exhibited. Having grown up with him being one of my favorite actors, I loved seeing his possessions. I also love to visit Presidential libraries…what history!

  8. Hi Alisa – Yes, it was one of those goose-bumpy days. We also walked through the orginal Air Force One from Reagan days, and saw a piece of the Berlin wall, in the other part of the museum.

  9. Hi Susan P — Oh wow, I would love to see the Titanic exhibit though I think it would be difficult in some ways. I hope the Lincoln exhibit comes to your town so your mother can see it. She would love it.

  10. What an interesting and wonderful trip and visit. Seeing this makes it so authentic and real. Visiting museums which depict events are important. When I visited a museum in Leadville I was transported to another era and place.

  11. I wish I could have seen the Lincoln Exhibit! Thank you so much for sharing your visit!

    I love museums, from the Smithsonians to local collections of community history! Presidential libraries and presidential homes are some of my very favorites to visit. Of all the libraries I have visited, I have enjoyed the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum the most. This library and museum is a wealth of information and exhibits. It is spectacular!

  12. When we visited the Jewish Pioneers exhibit in Santa Fe it was captivating and fascinating. Seeing what they accomplished and how they lived made me appreciate the depth and meaningful background.

  13. HI Britney… while you were at the RR Museum, did you see the Air Force One exhibit? I thought it was awesome to tour thru the actual plane, but the way it was suspended in mid-air in that gigantic windowed room was amazing.

  14. What a fun post. I have never heard about him using hat to carry documents. I love to go to museums. One of my favorites is in Pensacola.

  15. I remember going to see a museum when I was a kid and was frightened by the wax figures. One of them was Lincoln. To this day, seeing wax figures gives me the chills. lol

  16. I’m really impressed with your dad. I enjoy history and especially when you get to hear personal stories – which is lacking in most history classes. I love museums of any kind. I live in Pittsburgh and we have quite a few famous ones – the Carnegie being one and Andy Warhol. Whenever I traveled I tried to visit museums and I have to say I was impressed the most by the Lourve. I wish I had more chances and a longer time to visit even more museums.

  17. How lucky you were to have a father who taught you history in such an interesting way, Charlene. There are so many layers to the person Abraham Lincoln was. And the deeper ones are the most fascinating. I’ve been to some great museums. My goose bump moment was in the Spanish military museum, walking into a room with nothing in it but a rusty old sword in a glass case. It had belonged to the legendary Fifteenth Century(?)Spanish hero, El Cid.

    Love your book cover. Some reader is going to be very lucky.

  18. It has been awhile since I have been to a museum of any kind, but the last one I was at was to see the Dress collection of Princess Diana… And you can bet I will be making sure I have your book on pre-order..

  19. I love museums. I’ve been to the Titanic Experience. It was amazing to see all the artifacts that were recovered and recreations of the Grand Staircase and Promenade Deck. One of the most memorable items on display was a single life vest. It was certainly an experience I will always remember. I have also been to the Calvin Coolidge Historic Site in VT.

  20. I have been to Gettysburg where everything should be in a museum is and has many Of Lincoln’s possessions, in Washington D.C. The house where Lincoln died has THE room where he died just as it was then.

  21. I love museums!! One of my favorites is in Northwest Nebraska. The Museum of the Fur Trade is very interesting including an actual room build into a side hill used for a weigh station.

    Another that I really enjoyed after reading the book Prairie by Anna Lee Waldo, is in Walden, Colorado. The main character in the book lived in the area and in Cheyenne WY. He was a bull rider in Wild West Shows and his chaps and other memorabilia are in the Walden museum. I always get a mental picture of the characters in a book which I did for this one before I knew he was a real person, Charles Burton Irwin. I pictured him as a tall lanky cowboy and he was a short rather plump person but very interesting!

  22. How interesting….thanks! I don’t get around to museums much any more (health problems) really enjoyed your post.
    Please count me in for the GC.

  23. In March of 2001, while visiting my daughter in Washington D.C., I would visit the national museums in the morning while she went to work in the USDA building. In the afternoon we walked to monuments and more museums. What an experience! One that has really stayed with me is the room with the original paintings, many by Catlin, of the plains area of the early 1800’s. To see the originals of paintings that are printed in many books and used to tell our history in various TV productions—it was truly awesome.

  24. Enjoyed reading the articles. I usually try to visit museums in places I visit. I have been to several here in Arizona. The most fascinating one I have been to recently is down by Tucson, Az It is called the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum and it is world renown for exhibits of the animals, plants, and minerals found only in the region that the Sonoran desert covers here in Arizona and a bit of Mexico. It is rated as one of the top 10 zoos in the US.
    Another museum to see in the Tucson area is the Titan Missile Museum. Were you aware we still have a missile left over from the Cold War days housed here in the desert? When you stand at the bottom of it and look up you can not imagine how big and tall it is. Enoromous. And one wonders Does it still work?

  25. All Lincoln lovers NEED to visit Springfield, IL for the museum!!! The Studebaker Museum in South Bend, IN was visited by the Lincoln movie sound effects staff. That click when the carriage door opens/closes is authentic!!

  26. I love museums too! I always have. I love anything about history! I wanted to major in it in college but I didn’t know what I would do with it so I went with English instead but took lots of history classes! Now my youngest daughter is taking History in college and is going to be a social studies high school teacher! She’s living my dream! Thanks for the post. I have always enjoyed everything about Lincoln. I enjoyed the latest movie about him.

  27. It has been many years since I last went to a Museum… the last one I went to was in Delaware… it was a small one but was very interesting… learned some about the tribe of Indians that are actually in my family tree…

  28. Charlene, your books always have the most intriguing covers!

    I practically live on the doorstep of the Ronald Reagan Library and naturally had to see the Lincoln exhibit. Our paths must have crossed, and you took better pictures!

  29. Hi Elizabeth – It’s amazing how much we all love history on this blog. Some things just awe us. I remember standing in front of Van Gogh’s paintings with my mouth dropping open, when his exhibit came to town. And getting goosebumps in New Orleans, when I visited a real plantation house. Gone with the Wind…all over again. Thanks for the compliment on my book!

  30. Thanks Britney, Connie, Anyc, Pearl, Diane, anon1001, Colleen, Cate S, Valri Western, Hilltop Farm Wife, Jackie, Joye and EVERYONE for stopping by. I am READING each of your posts but had to drop off the blog for the afternoon…hubby is sick and had to get him some meds.

  31. I have always loved Lincoln, he was an amazing man. I don’t get to go to many exhibit or museum because I don’t travel any more. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it though.

  32. We have statues of Lincoln, replica of his birthplace, museum, etc., here in Ky. – but this museum is wonderful! Love the hat, & the fact he carried documents, etc. in it.

    I’ve seen many museums – one of my very favorite is the Creation museum near Cincinnati,Oh. It is outstanding, & has something for everyone, including kids – things to do outside, & in.

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