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“President James Buchanan's Wheatland”
Review of Wheatland

Ranked #6 of 72 things to do in Lancaster
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Costumed guides conduct tours of the historic mansion of the 15th President of the United States, James Buchanan.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“President James Buchanan's Wheatland”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

My parents and I went to one of the Living History Saturday events at Wheatland. It was on July 6th and too hot to go to Gettysburg, so Wheatland was a nice alternative. The Living History event took us back to July 6th,150 years ago, just days after the Battle of Gettysburg took place. The tour guides were actors portraying real people who were at Wheatland at that time, and our tour group became part of the action. So we were basically taken back in time to learn about a historical event. Afterwards one of the actors dropped her persona and gave our group a tour of the rest of the home. It was a lot of fun, actors were great, and we didn't have to deal with Gettysburg traffic.

Visited July 2013
Thank LindseyBuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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335 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Well done !”
Reviewed July 2, 2013

I never knew who James Buchanan was, so this was a nice introduction. My husband and I have visited MANY historic homes and this one was well presented. The visitors center was brand new and very clean. We were able to show our AAA card for a discount which the sales lady nicely pointed out to us. The tour guide dressed in period clothing and was very knowledgable! Only downside was that there was an extra fee to see the " museum" which we opted to not see. This stop took us about 1 1/2 -2 hours. Well worth it.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank babywe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wheatland, Home of USA President James Buchanan”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

We almost skipped Wheatland but made the right decision and visited it. We were pleasantly surprised. An elderly lady in period costume took us through the house and told us all kinds of interesting things about President Buchanan's life. The house itself was also in very good condition and also interesting. James Buchanan was an interesting man who was both a practicing lawyer and deeply enmeshed in politics. His fiance died and he never married and that makes him unique among the Presidents as a bachelor president. He was the President right before Abraham Lincoln but also held other government or political positions at other times. He raised his niece and nephew. When he became President his niece, a young woman, took on the public responsibilities that are associated today with the functions of a President's wife. By then the press were used to referring to the wives who were perfoming their roles as "Mrs. Pierce," "Mrs. Polk, " etc. Suddenly they had Harriott, a young adult who was not married to the President. She took on the public duties that the former presidents' wives had performed. There was no Mrs. Buchanan so the press created an alternative reference for her. She was referred to as the "First Lady." Problem solved. Starting then the press has continuted to refer to the wife of the President as the "First Lady." The lady who showed us through two of the three stories of the house was a wealth of interesting knowledge. The third floor was the servants quarters and were not a part of the tour.

The Lancaster historical society runs the facility and there is a nice visitors center by the house. They also have an added program for those who are interested in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania history. We were there soley for the Presidential aspects. We even had the priviledge of seeing the Presidential outhouse! Makes us better appreciate our modern conveniences.

Visited June 2013
Thank Dalarna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redlands, CA
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Wonderful site”
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Wheatland lies on the same grounds as the Lancaster Historical Society. It is a beautifully preserved Presidential home of James Buchanan, the only President from Pennsylvania and the only bachelor. We spent over an hour doing the tour of the house. The docent who conducted the tour was very knowledgeable and also delightful. I was most interested in this particular president because our daughter shares his birth date, April 23rd. There is a nice gift shop and you can buy combined ticket for the house and the Lancaster Historical Society's historical exhibits and gallery. This was a really nice place to visit.

Visited June 2013
Thank onlyleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
302 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 640 helpful votes
“History Rich And Worth The Visit”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

James Buchanan was our 15th president serving only one term before Lincoln was elected. The only bachelor president to ever grace the white house. It was rumored he might have been gay because he had only one woman in his life early on and never again. Then he lived with Rufus King the Senator from Alabama and the Vice President under Franklin Pierce, for 13 years until Kings death. The families of both men burned every letter or correspondence that could be found between the two men after their deaths.
Other information about the president has its problem as he was elected right in the middle of a war that was to come over slavery and did very little to stop it. Voted by most historians as literally dead last of all presidents. I guess we will have to see where they place Obama some day.
His grave is close by in a very nice cemetery.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank Larry8241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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