Wheatland

On our second day in Lancaster County PA, I visited Wheatland, the estate of President James Buchanan, which is in the city of Lancaster itself. Buchanan is usually considered one of the worst presidents, but he is the only president from Pennsylvania and his restored house is definitely worth a visit. It’s a Federal style house, built in 1828, which is furnished in the Victorian style to reflect the era when Buchanan lived there, from 1848 to 1868. I didn’t watch the introductory video, which had some info about Buchanan’s political career. Visitors are told to walk from the visitor’s center down to the house, where a guide wearing a hoop skirt period dress gave the tour, which focused on domestic issues rather than politics. Even if one is not thrilled by Buchanan himself, there is also the interesting story of the unmarried president’s First Lady, his niece Harriet Lane, who later inherited the house. The house is adjacent to the Lancaster County Historical Society, which has an exhibit gallery and a book store.