Mary Todd Lincoln House at 578 W. Main St. is the first historic site to honor a first lady. Built 1803-06 as an inn, the building was purchased in 1832 by Robert Smith Todd, who renovated it for use by his family. The Todds lived in the house until 1849. The family's 16 children included Mary Todd, who would become Abraham Lincoln’s wife. Mary met and married the future president after moving to Springfield, Ill. to live with her older sister; she and Lincoln visited her girlhood home several times.
Knowledgeable guides provide insight into the life of the first lady as they lead visitors through the 14-room, two-story Georgian-style brick house. The décor contains reproductions interspersed with a number of Mary Todd Lincoln’s possessions as well as portraits and period furnishings. Especially noteworthy are Mrs. Lincoln's porcelain perfume jars, a candelabra and a mourning jacket. A 19th-century-style garden out back contains plantings representative of the original plot.