Travel With Sara

Abilene, Kansas: A Presidential Experience

On a recent road trip to Abilene, Kansas I stopped at a rest area in Nebraska and was asked where I was headed. I responded with, “Abilene, Kansas.” The lady at the guest services booth said that she hadn’t heard that one before. I then proceeded to tell her that she should be traveling to Abilene as it’s home to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood home.

Dwight D Eisenhower Grounds

Now, I will admit it. It had been several years since I had been in Abilene, but I was excited to check it out. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States from 1953-1961 and I was quickly reminded that he served during a time of war in our country. The other thing to keep in mind as you stroll through the grounds is to look at the architecture in all of the buildings. They each have something unique to offer to the historic site.

Tours are available through the Boyhood home every 15 minutes throughout the day. Whereas, the museum is a go at your own pace type of tour.

Dwight D Eisenhower Boyhood Home

A fun fact that I had forgotten about.  On June 29, 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The bill created a 41,000-mile “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways” that would, according to Eisenhower, make our roads safer.

Eisenhower interstate highways

I would allow a minimum of one hour to spend in the museum. The museum is slated to undergo a major renovation in the next year. I’m looking forward to seeing what the museum looks like once the renovations are completed. It’s important to note that the Presidential Library and Boyhood Home will remain open during the period of renovations.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum is home to 26 million pages of historical records, as well as thousands of photographs. Visitors can explore part of the library, but are not allowed into the areas where Presidential records are stored. I did appreciate the “glimpse” of these historical records, as one of the historians shared her expertise on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidency.

The grounds themselves are well groomed and worth strolling around. A stop in the Place of Meditation is one of solitude, as it offers a time and space to reflect on the life of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Dwight D Eisenhower Burial Site

He, his wife and first-born son are buried here.

Next door is the Dickinson County Heritage Center, which offers a carousel ride. Abilene, Kansas is one of those places you will fall in love with. It’s small town America and proud of it’s Presidential heritage, as well as the history that surrounds the Chisholm Trail.

To keep up with what’s happening in Abilene, “like” their Facebook page and stay in the know.
https://www.facebook.com/visitabilene/

*Thank you to the Abilene, Kansas tourism office for hosting me.

Thanks for the share!
  •  
  • 21
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 4
  •  
  •  
    25
    Shares
  •  
    25
    Shares
  •  
  • 21
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 4
  •  
  •  

18 thoughts on “Abilene, Kansas: A Presidential Experience

  1. Kay Lynn

    Abilene was my mom’s hometown and her father went to school with a couple of Ike’s brothers. It’s a really nice small town. Check out Old Town next time for a gunfight act and saloon girls.

    There’s also a really nice park that has tanks and an old train engine for kids to explore.

  2. Janna

    Such a cool and fascinating trip for people who love American history! Ive never heard of this place before even though Eisenhower is one of the more well known presidents in the country. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. Sandy N Vyjay

    Abilene is a place, I am sure not many are aware of. It is really fascinating to note that the Dwight D. Eisenhower was born here and spent his childhood here. The e Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum looks really interesting, a window into the past. Priceless and really a place to spend some great time.

  4. SaraB Post author

    They are a town of under 7000 and they have a LOT of community pride, which is always fun to see.

  5. Meg Jerrard

    I hadn’t heard of Abilene either, but Eisenhower is a very famous president, so it’s cool to know about the town where he grew up. And the town is obviously very proud of their presidential heritage. It’s great that they’re keeping the Presidential Library and Boyhood Home open during the period of museum renovations – will be interesting to see how they modernize it!

  6. SaraB Post author

    Yes… this was fascinating to me, as we don’t think of all the documents that are processed during a Presidency.

  7. Jody Robbins

    I had no idea Eisenhower was from Kansas. I think Presidential libraries are such a good idea. I wish we had this tradition in Canada. I haven’t been to one yet, but I’ll earmark this one. I wonder if it’s been confirmed where Obama’s will be. I think Hawaii would be cool.

  8. mags

    I have never even heard of Abilene, Kansas, but it looks like a very interesting place. Seems well worth a visit.

  9. roff555

    What a special place – I don’t think I would have stumbled across this had I not read your post but it looks really interesting. 26 million pages, that’s a lot of paper! The old wooden house looks very much like small-town America, and very well preserved. Lovely post, thanks for sharing.

  10. Kiyoko

    I’ll admit, I’ve never been much of a history buff, but maybe I should be! I feel like there is so much not covered by the history books and taught in schools. Thanks for the enlightening post!

  11. Alouise

    I’ve never heard of Abilene, but it sounds like a lovely little town with some interesting history. The fact there’s a presidential library in a small town like that is pretty cool.

Leave a Reply