We paid the twenty dollars admission fee, and received a pair of Tyvek paper manacles to prove we had been gullible enough to do so, and moved into to massive temple of Lincoln. Consulting the map, which was useless again in the absence of obvious signage, a helpful gentleman told us where to begin – at the faux log cabin to the left, and then go to the White House façade to the right.
No photos were to be taken inside the bleakly lit confines of these displays, only out on the central marble floor.
So here Trixie shall have to describe it, and let your imagination fill in the gaps.
Like any modern museum seeking to confuse and bewilder rather than educate, this had a demi-carnival air to it, a wax museum, filled with allegorical symbology of how Lincoln grew up, first in a one-room log cabin where a wax figure studied by the fire, surrounded by lovingly lavished examples of all the many things that the family may have possessed during that era. Apparently, stories of his poor boy roots didn’t sink into the generous donor’s planning. They took the time to point out the appalling lack of privacy – when privacy was held in a different way back then than it is to our modern ‘sensibilities’ – never mind there wasn’t a spot of room to move in the cluttered cabin diorama.
The route took us through the back of the cabin, to the view of a slave family being split up by being sold like property – something meant to shock and impress on those too lazy to read their history. This at least directed us to the alleged recreation of Lincoln’s store, Lincoln behind the counter and the various sundries he might have sold, from brooms to fine china stacked in a barrel full of hay. Lincoln himself looked old and unchanged, gaunt and dressed in a white shirt with brown trousers held up by a lone suspender and a button on the beltline.