Mary Lincoln, Mrs. Fashionista of her time, is leading a weekly Saturday Shop Hop tour right in her home neighborhood of Downtown Springfield.
Mary Lincoln’s Shop Hop is a free program that is part of Visit Springfield’s History Comes Alive. Participants can get the one-of-a-kind experience to shop with a First Lady meet the owners of downtown boutiques, and discover the work of Springfield’s talented craftspeople and artists.
The shopping tours take place every Saturday during History Comes Alive (through August 10). Just meet at 11 am at the Springfield Visitors Center, located at the Lincoln-Herdon Law office at 6th and Adams Streets. Shop Hop tours run 45 minutes and consist of three downtown shops.
Mary Lincoln is the inspiration for the Shop Hop because of her knack for fashion and love of shopping during her time in Springfield and DC. She was known to own beautiful gowns, usually only purchased when Abraham Lincoln was out of town. During the mid-1850’s in Springfield, it would not have been uncommon to see Mary Lincoln at locations like John William’s general store or in the shop of dressmaker Mrs. Labarthe. She was known to own a dress that cost more than two month’s pay for a typical Springfield family of the time.
In addition to her beautiful dresses, the bonnets that Mary Lincoln would wear also verified her fashionista status. Mary could have been seen wear decorative bonnets with long sashes that were typically made by the French.
Even when the Lincolns moved to Washington, D.C., Mary kept up her lavish fashion life. She was known to wear brilliant outfits that resembled the likes of European women of the time. She was often referred to as “The Illinois Reine” because she resembled royalty.
Mary Lincoln’s Shop Hop is a wonderful way to learn a little more about our 16th President’s First Lady and get a little shopping in at the same time. Where else but downtown could you experience this historic mashup?
Thank you to our partners at Visit Springfield, Mary Lincoln’s Shop Hop possible!