There were no Secret Service guards or metal detectors at the Lincoln White House.

The lower story, where the kitchen was, smelled of mildew. Rats were a nuisance there.

Until President Lincoln’s secretary convinced him to limit visiting hours, people began visiting before breakfast and kept arriving until late at night.

After Mary Lincoln redecorated the public rooms, souvenir hunters snipped pieces of curtain tassels and took the curtain cords as souvenirs. One person cut nearly two feet out of a new silk curtain.

Source: Ronald D. Reitveld, The Lincoln White House Community, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association