An old dream – seeing the Eisenhower Farm
Having spent a great deal of my sophomore year doing a lengthy paper on President Dwight David Eisenhower, I have always read excellent works about his life and thought that ended with the same theme – “after a lifetime of public service and sacrifice, Ike [like Washington, Jefferson, and other great American heroes] finally got the life he wanted and retired onto a farm and thrived there.” As one can imagine, I have always wanted the chance to visit such a place. Being in Gettysburg PA this week for a Lutheran church event (more information on that in the next post here),I quickly realized I would spend the majority of my full day off getting to and touring the Farm.
Walking a couple of miles out of town down to the main Gettysburg battlefield museum, I purchased a bus ticket and was driven onto the Farm. 189 acres, the tour focused on the main house and grounds around it, as well as the Farm #2 as its called, the closest of 4 farms on the property to the main house. The house itself was a fantastic character piece on the Eisenhowers as a couple – the living room was a sort of necessary trophy case, an overly formal place stuffed with the accolades offered to the presiding victor over Europe in WWII and a 2 term president who oversaw (amongst many other accomplishments) the beginning of racial equality in the Federal government and 0 (zero) wartime deaths. From the original White House fireplace (bought from a private collector by the White House staff as a 38th wedding anniversary gift to the Eisenhowers), to the $20,000 Persian rug (a gift from the re-instated Shah of Iran to Ike), and much more besides, the Eisenhowers actually rather hated their living room. The remainder of their house they loved dearly, and this is reflected in its furnishings – extremely modest and functional, but kept with love and care to demonstrate the pride of the couple in their waning years. Check out the photos below, for a better sense of the locale!
The park’s website is rather informative, so if ever you intend on visiting, I would suggest giving it a look!
A photo gallery of the fun and games to be had checking out the Eisenhower Farm: