A Lincoln Bedroom for the rest of us

| Mon Mar. 24, 1997 4:00 AM EST

So, maybe Barbra's schnoz never touched the pillows in their beds. Maybe they can't boast that Rush Limbaugh's ample tush lay upon their mattresses. But, there's more than one establishment with a Lincoln Bedroom, and some of them offer us commoners an opportunity to rise and say, "Hey, I too slept in the Lincoln Bedroom, and it was goooood."

Name: The White House
Innkeepers: Bill and Hillary Clinton
Where: Washington, D.C.
Cost: $100,000?

Room Features: A lumpy bed that Lincoln never slept in.
Lincoln Connection:
Used to be Lincoln's personal office. It was in this room that he signed the Emancipation Proclamation in January of 1863. Since then those who have entered have felt "free" to do whatever they want (consult tell-all books or a tabloid near you). John F. Kennedy allegedly romped with call girls in the Lincoln Bedroom. Former Miss America Phyllis George claimed her child, Lincoln, was conceived there with her ex, former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown.
Famous Lincoln Bedroom Guests:
You name it.
Thoughts on the Lincoln Bedroom:
"This job, even when you're traveling, can be very isolating," Clinton says about his need to have the Lincoln Bedroom booked solid with rich guests. "I get frustrated going to meetings and goings where all you do is shake hands with somebody, or you take a picture, and no words are ever exchanged. I look for ways to have genuine conversations with people." Makes the eyes water, don't it?

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Name: The Baker-Doolittle House Bed & Breakfast
Innkeeper: Michael Baker
Where: Washington, D.C.
Cost: $125

Room Features:
Hand-carved, four-poster canopy bed, ornamental fireplace and an eerie photograph of Lincoln with John Wilkes Booth.
Lincoln Connection:
Daniel Chester French, Lincoln Memorial sculptor, had his studio on the fourth floor of the house. Although Lincoln never actually stayed there, Baker gets a kick out of telling guests he slept there in 1935.
Famous Lincoln Bedroom Guests:
Al Gore's friends from Nashville stayed there during the last inauguration. Members of Congress are also on the register (won't say who).
Thoughts on that other Lincoln Bedroom:
"Clinton is running me out of business," says Baker, adding, "we're just five blocks from the Capitol."
Non-related, but worth mentioning:
White House Overflow Unit should note that his B&B accomodates fund-raising events.

Name: Honeymoon Mansion Bed & Breakfast and Wedding Chapel
Innkeepers: Franklin and Beverly Dennis
Where: New Albany, Indiana
Cost: $130.95

Room Features:
A hand-carved queen-size cherry bed with lace canopy, a copy of the Gettysburg Address, two paintings of Lincoln, a book about Lincoln and a white marble Jacuzzi with 8-foot high marble columns.
Lincoln Connection:
None, really.
Famous Lincoln Bedroom Guests:
None, just a lot of horny newlyweds.
Thoughts on that other Lincoln Bedroom:
"People have been giving money to the Democratic Committee to stay there," says Franklin Dennis. "That's so sad because Lincoln was an outstanding person."
Non-related, but worth mentioning:
If you can't book the Lincoln Suite, there are other options. Get poetic in the Ralph Waldo Emerson Suite, make music together in the Stephen Foster Suite, or try the Florence Nightingale Suite where you can...well, use your imagination.

Name: Manor House
Innkeepers: Diane and Henry Tremblay
Where: Norfolk, Connecticut
Cost: $165

Room Features:
Fireplace, a double antique sleigh bed, a white "fainting" couch, Lincoln statue and Lincoln bookends.
Lincoln Connection:
The father of the original owner of the property was Lincoln's librarian to Congress.
Famous Lincoln Bedroom Guests:
Diane Tremblay says a direct descendent of Robert E. Lee stayed there. "He got a real kick out of it." Also, some Broadway people.
Non-related, but worth mentioning:
During breakfast, which is included in the price, past guests have been treated to Hank Tremblay's detailed explanation of beekeeping. It could be said that this is comparable to the early-morning ramblings Clinton has been known to bequeath upon his guests. Maybe not.

Name: The Federal House
Innkeeper: Diane Carroll
Where: Lansing, New York
Cost: $80-135 depending on season

Room Features:
Four-poster canopy bed, fireplace with mantel reputedly hand-carved by Brigham Young (he used to work as an apprentice carpenter in the area), and a bust of Lincoln.
Lincoln Connection:
It was at the Federal House that Lincoln's Secretary of State, William Seward, courted his wife, Frances Miller. "However," says Lynn Elser, assistant innkeeper, "we don't actually know that Lincoln stayed there." But Lincoln's ghost may keep the bathroom "occupado." "People say that they hear someone in the bathroom," says Elser. "We don't tell other people about it because we don't want to scare them away."
Non-related, but worth mentioning:
Located near wineries, so should you indulge, and happen to be walking down some stairs at say 1 a.m., watch your step.

 
Name: The RidgeRunner Bed & Breakfast
Innkeeper: Susan Richards
Where: Middlesboro, Kentucky
Cost: $65

Room Features:
Double bed, "inviting double futon," and an etched picture of Lincoln by famous Lincoln artist Lloyd Ostendorf.
Lincoln Connection:
Richards is a direct descendent of Judge David Wills from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The night before delivering the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln bunked at the Wills' home. The suite contains artifacts from the room where Lincoln slept, including a towel rack.
Famous Lincoln Bedroom Guests:
The grandson of the founder of Middlesboro, Kentucky.

 
Name: The General Potter Farm B&B
Innkeepers: Binky and Sam Lush
Where: Potters Mills, Pennsylvania
Cost:$80-90

Room Features:
Two twin beds
Lincoln Connection:
While General James Potter, the original owner of the house, was friends with George Washington, there is no direct link to Lincoln. When the Lushes bought the house, the room had a little wooden hand-painted sign that said "Lincoln Room" on it. They decided to keep it (they opted to get rid of the little picture of Lincoln that also came with the room, however).
Non-related, but worth mentioning:
Georgie Packwood, Senator Bob's then-wife, stayed in the neighboring Blue Room. Where was Bob? Good question.

Are you wondering who did have the pull to spend the night at the White House? Check out our list of the White House sleep-overs.