A Ride Around the Grounds

Tour group listening in front of the Cottage. Photo by Don Tanguilig

By Kevin Bowman

On Saturday, May 22nd, President Lincoln’s Cottage and the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) joined a host of volunteers and participants in “WalkingTown DC,” organized by Cultural Tourism DC.

A group of sixty-one excited participants set off on a multi-stop grounds tour of the AFRH and President Lincoln’s Cottage.  Guiding the participants were Chuck Felder, a resident of the AFRH, and Kevin Bowman, an interpreter for President Lincoln’s Cottage.  This tour served as a first-time event for the two organizations, as evidenced by the large turn-out of participants anxious to learn about, and get a glimpse of this “hidden” landscape.

Kevin offered the participants an historic investigation of the Soldiers’ Home and the three summers it was used by President Abraham Lincoln.  Mr. Felder filled in the historic information with a look at the buildings used and constructed for the Soldiers’ Home, as well  a modern explanation of the buildings’ uses and future plans of the AFRH. The tour also featured an extended stop outside the grounds of the AFRH to Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery.

Tour group posing in front of the Cottage after the tour. Photo by Don Tanguilig

Perhaps enjoyed most by the participants was a stop at the overlook of Washington, D.C.  This unique view highlighting the U.S. Capitol building (perhaps unparalleled in the metropolitan area) is one usually enjoyed only by AFRH residents, employees and residents’ visitors.  To perfect the view during the tour, almost as if planned, a white-tailed deer emerged from a wood line in front of the group offering a rarely seen, downtown combination of wildlife, urban surroundings and nationally iconic structures.

Mr. Bowman is a historical interpreter at President Lincoln’s Cottage.

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