Seelye Mansion and Patent Medicine Museum
One of the most beautiful homes in all of Abilene, the Seelye Mansion has been preserved and meticulously decorated to reflect the grandeur of the time. Built in 1905, the home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. The furnishings themselves cost nearly $55,000. The Patent Medicine Museum occupies a former Seelye laboratory which has been moved to the rear of the mansion.
Backstory and Context
The Georgian style Seelye Mansion in Abilene, Kansas is like a time capsule to the best of the best in Kansas in the early part of the 1900s. Most of the home's furnishings were purchased at the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, so they stem from all over the world. The furnishings cost more than the $55,000 that was spent building the 11,000 square feet home.The 25-room Seelye Mansion was built by Dr. A. B. Seelye, who made his fortune in patent medicine with the A.B. Seelye Medical Company. He moved his entire family into the building, including his two daughters.
As Dr. Seelye aged, his daughters never married nor moved away from home. They took over when their parents died, and kept everything exactly how it was. The only renovations came from famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who helped with the interior in the 1920s.