The estate was surprising to me for several reasons. First of all, I was struck by what an isolated location the Lindbergs chose for their home...they picked a hilltop piece of land, 400 acres, in the Sourland Mountains, accessible at the time only by narrow dirt roads. In the early 1930s, the depths of the Great Depression, there was a shantytown of shacks nearby, and no other house on the hill had electricity. It doesn't seem like the most obvious place for the most famous man in the world at the time to have chosen for his family home. Of course, we know now that Lindbergh felt hounded by fans and the press, and I suppose he thought this remote location would keep his family safe. As it turned out, since the house was the only one nearby with electricity, the lights from the home at night clearly indicated its location for anyone searching.
I also was intrigued that to find that the house itself is rather modestly sized and not at all ostentatious. It has the feel of a rustic, country retreat... Not quite what I expected, given that Lindbergh had become enormously rich from his famous flights and Anne Morrow herself came from a background of wealth and privilege. The house was newly built at the time of the kidnapping, and decoration, landscaping, etc, was not complete. It is hard now to be certain what more the Lindberghs might have done with the house or exterior. No furniture remains in the home from the Lindberghs' time, although there is a fair amount of original woodwork, particularly in the study and living room.
The most poignant moment for me came inside the bedroom of the baby, Charles Lindbergh, Jr. The baby's room now serves as a computer room for the juvenile justice facility; it is painted light blue, although at the time of the kidnapping, it had a cheerful wallpaper. What I found so poignant--the lovely, blue and white Delft tiles on the fireplace, each depicting a child, toy, or animal. I couldn't help but feel the presence of the mother who carefully chose those for her first baby's room.
I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to tour the estate. I hope that one day the state of New Jersey will make the home a historic site open to the general public.