Known as “The Old Sage of Wheatland,” Buchanan enjoyed walks along his property. One of the favorite stops during Buchanan’s stroll would have been close to where you are standing now. In Buchanan’s time, Wheatland boasted a freshwater spring, which was home to several frogs. The peaceful scenery of this spot meant so much to Buchanan that he divulged his wishes to return to the waters of Wheatland upon his death. In conversation with Dr. Carpenter, one of his doctors, Buchanan noted that if there was any truth in reincarnation, he would want to return “and inhabit the body of a frog at this beautiful spring.”
The beauty of this spot charmed more than just one person. Miss Hetty, the head housekeeper, would return to Wheatland once more in the years following Buchanan’s death in 1868. She returned to the spring with Harriet Lane Johnston and James Buchanan Henry and was baptized in the waters under the Baptist faith. Paying homage to Buchanan, LancasterHistory maintains this pond as a peaceful respite for all who come to visit. If you listen closely, you just might hear the croaking of a frog.