We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Bowling Alley”
Review of Seelye Mansion

Seelye Mansion
Ranked #2 of 8 things to do in Abilene
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Wamego, Kansas
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Bowling Alley”
Reviewed January 17, 2012

Interesting tour of this very old Seelyn Mansion in Abilene.

1 Thank phototaker872
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

104 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Don't miss it!!!!”
Reviewed November 7, 2011

I love house museums and have seen quite a few all over the US but this was undoubtedly one of the best I've ever seen. The $10 are well worth it. The tour starts at the small visitor center and the you'll be able to see the entire house. The tourguide is the owner of the home himself and he also lives in the place. That means there are no barriers and you can walk everywhere and even touch a piece or two. The outside of the mansion and the gardens are well mantained as well. I could have spend there hours. If you're somewhere close just go and see it.

Visited November 2011
1 Thank babdr80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Very interesting look at a 1905 luxury home complete with 1904 World's Fair furnishings.”
Reviewed October 31, 2011

This 25 room mansion still contains the furniture, Haviland china, victrola, one lane bowling alley, pottery, art, rugs, and etc. purchased from the St. Louis World's Fair that the Seele family attended. The daughters never married and the current owner lived with them for several years before they passed, thus learning about their lives and the furnishings of the home. Edison did the wiring and provided the light fixtures. Frank LLoyd Wright did some redecorating in the 20's. One of the architects designed the Topeka State Capitol. Most of the 11 bedrooms were filled each night with prestigious guests. The only people who ever delivered ice to the ice box (which held 50 salads and 50 deserts at once) were the Eisenhower boys. The dining table had 17 leaves. This is an absolutely fabulous history lesson and you are allowed to see all the rooms. The $10 entrance fee is worth it. We visited the Eisenhower Museum one day and went to the Seele Mansion the next.

Visited October 2011
1 Thank bungalowman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, GA
Level 6 Contributor
214 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 415 helpful votes
“The most amazing house museum -- a true gem -- don't miss it”
Reviewed October 26, 2011

I'm a fan of house museums and have visited dozens of them in various cities. I have never seen one as captivating as the Seelye Mansion. It's not just its spectacular Georgian architecture or its intriguing history; it's that it is an amazing archive, with all of the original furnishings, appointments, and possessions of the original owners, much of it acquired by Mrs. Seelye at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

The current owner, Terry, purchased Seelye Mansion from the two Seelye "girls" who grew up here, living with them in their final years (they were in their 90s when they both passed away). That enables Terry, who was our tour guide, to relay intimate histories in each room regarding the Edison lighting (with wiring installed by Edison himself), the Tiffany-designed fireplace, the 3,000+ pieces of Haviland Limoges china, and on and on and on. It's 11,000 square feet and 25 rooms of sheer delight. Our tour (I was with a tour group) lasted over two hours; I would have loved to have spent the entire day with Terry and the Seelye mansion.

If you love house museums, do not miss this one -- it's well-worth the drive to Abilene if you're anywhere near the area.

Visited October 2011
6 Thank originalbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“You have GOT to see this place.”
Reviewed June 29, 2011

Miss Dorothy is a fabulous tour guide! This is the only historic home I have gone to where you can see everything up close. No barriers anywhere. There also aren't any "no touching" signs anywhere although I know better than to do that and I hope you do too. We even got to bowl in the bowling alley. How cool is that? The owner has a wonderful sense of humor. Turns out he was the Gardner who made friendly conversation with us on the way in. He told us how much we were going to enjoy seeing the inside. Thank you Terry for being so humble. I only wish I had purchased a copy of the book about the house and had you autograph it for me!!!

Visited June 2011
2 Thank Maybelette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Seelye Mansion? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing