Batavia, Illinois: Mary Todd Lincoln's Sanitarium Bed

Ten years after President Lincoln's assassination, Mary Lincoln was committed to "a sanitarium for disturbed ladies" in Batavia by her son, Robert Todd Lincoln. Relics from her stay are on display in Batavia's Depot Museum, including her bed and the logbook in which her doctor recorded her behavior. Mary was released after only four months, against her doctor's wishes. The actual Bellevue Place sanitarium still stands elsewhere in town, converted to apartments.

Batavia Depot Museum

Address:
155 Houston St., Batavia, IL
Directions:
Batavia Depot Museum. From the corner of Hwy 31/Lincoln Hwy and W. Wilson St., drive north one block to Houston St. Turn right (east) onto Houston St. Drive one block. The museum is on the northeast corner of Houston and Water Sts.
Hours:
Mar.-Nov. M, W, F-Su 2-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
630-406-5274
Admission:
Donation $1.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Mary Todd Lincoln's Sanitarium Bed

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Sanitarium bed of Mary Todd Lincoln.

Mary Todd Lincoln's Sanitarium Bed

In 1875, distressed over his mother's erratic behavior, Robert Todd Lincoln (the eldest and only surviving child of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln) arranged for a public trial that declared his mother to be insane. For four months Mrs. Lincoln stayed at the Bellevue Place sanitarium in Batavia. She was able to engineer her release, left Batavia, eventually returned to Springfield, Illinois, and was later officially declared of sound mind.

Bellevue Place was converted to apartments in the 1980s, but the bed that Mary Todd Lincoln slept in while at the sanitarium is on display at the Batavia Depot Museum. The docent told me that Mary Todd Lincoln wasn't particularly fond of Batavia after her forced stay in Bellevue Place.

The museum has other interesting exhibits; my favorites were a three-foot long metal milk truck and a shiny artillery shell.

[John Takao Collier, 08/18/2014]
Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Man With A Fish HeadMan With A Fish Head, Batavia, IL - < 1 mi.
City of WindmillsCity of Windmills, Batavia, IL - < 1 mi.
Self-Made ManSelf-Made Man, Batavia, IL - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Volo Museum: Bonnie and Clyde Death Car, Volo, IL - 34 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Illinois Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

The Living Dead Museum, Monroeville, Pennsylvania (Oct 25-31, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now