The New York Home of Martin Van Buren Has One Grisly Feature
New York has been home to a good number of presidents, some more prominent than others. One of the more "forgotten presidents" might be our nation's 8th, Martin Van Buren, who was the very first president born in New York.
Van Buren's estate, known as Lindenwald, is a National Historic Site in Kinderhook that can be visited. It includes 12.8 acres of his original 225-acre farm that he oversaw after his presidency, in the mid-1800s.
You probably won't find Martin Van Buren on any historian's list of best presidents, or even worst presidents. If anything, you might find him on someone's list of "presidents with the best facial hair." Because, let's face it. It's pretty epic. You probably couldn't rock this look today and win the highest office in the land.
In contemporary times, Van Buren might best be known from an episode of Seinfeld, titled "The Van Buren Boys," which featured a fictional street gang that tormented Kramer and George. The gang would throw up their signature gang sign, eight fingers, to signify our eighth president.
So what can visitors expect from a guided tour of Lindenwald? They'll get a fascinating look inside his estate, which included a rudimentary and innovative indoor plumbing system, and period-appropriate furnishings. But probably the most macabre piece in the entire home is this:
THE ACTUAL BED MARTIN VAN BUREN DIED IN
Yes, that's right. The eighth President of the United State actually croaked in this bed. Think any of his white whiskers are still on the pillowcase?
Unfortunately, guided tours of Lindenwald are currently closed until late spring. So if you've got some sort of Presidential Death Tour on the docket, make sure you plan accordingly.