Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 9/14/15: Day Two-The Eisenhower House and Farm

From the Gettysburg Battlefield field visitor's Center we got on a shuttle bus to visit the Eisenhower home and farm.  This is the only home that President Eisenhower and Mrs. Eisenhower ever owned. After leaving the White House, Eisenhower requested to then be refereed to as General Eisenhower.  

 The front lane leading up to their home is lined with Spruce trees.  The Republican National Committee donated a tree from every state.  The furthest tree from the house was from Texas (his birthplace) and was planted there to represent the General's long road back from surviving his heart attack. Our tour began outside the house in view of the 189 acre farm where the General raised his award winning Angus cattle.  While in the White house, the General used the house as a weekend retreat and also a place to bring World Leaders. He would always begin with showing his guests around the farm, especially sharing his cattle.  The General was proud of his farm and he also felt that it put his guests at ease. At the farm the General had time to spend with his wife Mamie, play golf, and also to paint.  He is said to have painted 300 paintings here and several of his paintings are displayed in his home.  And, on his farm he created both a putting green and sand trap.

It is said besides the peaceful location, they picked this home because the General enjoyed cooking and really liked the kitchen.  After purchasing the house, when they began to do some renovations, they discovered that much of the house they thought was brick was actually brick facade and underneath was a rotting cabin built in the 1700's.  The renovation effort was $250,000 (estimated at $2.2 million in today's dollars). The purchase price of the farm and home in 1950 had been $40,000.  The plans and construction efforts were dictated by Mamie.  At one point the General told a contractor "For God's sake, just give her what she wants and send me the bill."

Mamie liked nice things while the General was more into rustic furnishings.  Mamie hired a decorator for the living room and formal dining room.  With the exception of 4 items in the living room, this room is filled with gifts they received mainly from various world leaders.  The fireplace in the living room, however, was a favorite for the General.  This fireplace was in storage and was part of the White house (1854-1873) most notable for the General while Lincoln was president. Their living room was mostly a showpiece for guests and they spent little time in there except when entertaining.  This was also true of their dining room.  We were told that the couple often ate in the den on TV trays while watching TV.  Their kitchen, though small in today's standards,  was stated to be the kitchen of the future by Better Homes and Gardens. While we did tour the entire house, to us it just did not have the feel of having eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms.  In the entry was a guest book, and Mamie was sure to have her guests, including family, sign it when they visited.

Most notable, the Eisenhower farm was very peaceful and it is easy to understand why they loved their farm so much.  This tour was a wonderful way to end our time in the historic town of Gettysburg.

The Main House-Eisenhower Farm
Eisenhower Farm
The Farmhouse-Eisenhower Farm
Fireplace from the White house when Lincoln was President
Eisenhower Farm
Living room-Eisenhower Farm
The table was personally etched by Syngman Rhee,
the First Lady of South Korea
and the rug is from the Shah of Iran
Living room-Eisenhower Farm
Den(back porch with view of the mountains)
Eisenhower Farm
Formal Dining Room-Eisenhower Farm
Mamie's  favorite painting done by the General
Eisenhower Farm
The Master Bedroom-Eisenhower Farm
The Dignitary Guestroom -Eisenhower Farm
The Kitchen-Eisenhower Farm
The General's Man Cave-Eisenhower Farm

No comments:

Post a Comment