Established by Congress in 1974 to commemorate the life and work of the eighth U.S. President, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site encompasses 300 acres surrounding Van Buren's original farm as well as the mansion built in 1797 and enlarged by Van Buren in the mid-19th century. The site is preserved and operated for the American people by the National Park Service.
Van Buren's 1839 purchase of the fine eighteenth-century house and farm he renamed "Lindenwald" represented his dramatic rise from tavern-keeper's son to prominent politician and leader. While the fields and orchards of Lindenwald proved to be bountiful, Van Buren's elegant home provided equally fertile ground upon which he cultivated valuable political relationships. Throughout his 21 years of residency a steady stream of politicians, celebrities and businessmen were graciously entertained inside Lindenwald. Van Buren ran twice more for the presidency while living here. He nearly regained the Democratic Party nomination in 1844 - losing it on the ninth ballot to James K. Polk, largely because Van Buren was against the immediate annexation of Texas. This disappointment inspired Van Buren to run a third party campaign in 1848 for the Free Soil Party. Much of the strategizing which went into both candidacies was accomplished inside this quirky 36 room home.