Abraham Lincoln

On October 1st we stopped just south of Springfield, Illinois. We are on our way back to Missouri for some time with family before we head further south for the winter. Most of you will know that Springfield, Illinois, was President Abraham Lincoln’s home from April 15, 1837 to February 11, 1861, when he became President-elect and left for Washington, D.C.

The land that the city of Springfield now occupies, was settled by trappers and fur traders in 1818. Springfield is the capital of Illinois, however, did you know it was not the first capital of the state? I didn’t. Kaskaskia was the first capital of the Illinois territory until 1819, a year after Illinois became a state. Vandalia was the second state capital of Illinois from 1819 to 1839. Springfield became the third capital of Illinois in 1839 through the efforts of Lincoln and some of his associates who who thought the capital should be more centrally located. It is still the capital of the state today.

I had always wanted to visit the Lincoln “sites” in Springfield, and we were finally getting our chance. We spent two days going to the Lincoln home on the corner of 8th Street and E. Jackson Street, the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Old Capitol Building, and the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery. The Lincoln Tomb is the final resting place of the 16th President of the United States, his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, and three of their four sons, Edward, William, and a Thomas.

There is SO much information I have learned over the last two days visiting these places; it is just too much to even try to share. You will need to plan a trip to Springfield and delve into the life of Abraham Lincoln, his childhood, his life in Springfield, his joys, his sorrows, and his legacy to this country.

I took MANY photos of the places we visited. If you zoom in on some of the photos, you will be able to read some of information and learn some of the things I learned.

On the first day, we visited the Lincoln home, and afterwards, we walked the several block area around the home with houses and exhibits from the time period in which the Lincoln’s lived that area.

Lincoln’s home. The home has been photographed MANY times from this angle. Also, SOME of the furnishings in the home are original, but I can only remember a few of them.

Guest bedroom. This IS the original guest bed that was in the house when the Lincolns lived there.

The Lincolns’ bedroom. The bed is not the original bed.

That is his original desk where he wrote a couple of his speeches.

Where Lincoln stood and shaved. Notice how high the mirror is on the wall.

Mary Todd Lincoln had her own bedroom because she had a lot of migraine headaches. I don’t remember if this is her original bed or not. 🤷‍♀️[/ca[/ca[/ca[/ca

The boys’ room.
The servant’s room.

The Lincolns’ backyard.

Then we went to the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

This is the residence of the custodian whose job was to take care of and watch over the tomb. The next picture shows how close the residence is to the tomb.

As you can see from the photos, there are stairs that go up to a platform that goes around the upper portion of the monument. People are no longer allowed up there because of vandalism that has occurred over the last several years. That is SO sad. Why are people disrespectful to someone’s final resting place and ruin the experience for others? I will never understand that.

The second day we spent the majority of the day going through the Lincoln Presidential Museum. That place is truly amazing. If you ever go there, do NOT miss the two media shows! They are both quality presentations.

The White House display is everything about Lincoln during his presidency until he was assassinated. All statues in the museum are accurate in regards to size. The statues are made of silicone and are SO realistic! They have “medical grade” eyes and real hair not only on the head, but also the arms, eyelashes, and eyebrows.
The log cabin display is all about Lincoln’s childhood, meeting Mary Todd, and young adult years.

These short movies are truly fantastic. This one uses strobe lights, smoke, and vibrations of your seat synchronized to the events in the movie.
This one I can’t even describe; you just have to see it! All I could say when it was over was, “Wow!” This one was my favorite!

LOOK AT HOW REAL HIS ARM LOOKS – HAIR AND ALL!

We also walked across the street to the Lincoln Presidential Library, however, the majority of it isn’t open to the public. We were only allowed on the first floor. There are meeting rooms, and one can do research there. The historical documents related to President Lincoln were not on display, so there wasn’t much to “see.”

Then we went to the Old Capitol Building. This was the capitol building of Illinois from the time it was opened in 1840 until the 1870s when it became too small to serve the economic growth spurred by the Civil War and the consequent industrialization. This capitol building is where Lincoln argued cases in front of the Illinois State Supreme Court, where he served as a State Legislator, where he made his famous House Divided speech, where he announced his candidacy the the U.S. Senate, and where his body was returned after leaving Washington D.C. for citizens to pay their respects before he was buried.

After the new state capitol building was completed, the government turn the Old State Capitol over to Sangamon County to serve as the county courthouse. The capitol building had been greatly altered during its years as a county courthouse from 1876 until 1966. In the 1960s the county’s need for more space had grown so urgent that it required the building of a new county courthouse. After the new county courthouse was completed, the county retroceded the Old State Capitol building to the state of Illinois.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency wanted the Old State Capitol building returned to its original form. Restoration and reconstruction of the building took place from 1966 – 1969. Workers completely dismantled building, stone by stone, and rebuilt it. Therefore, the outside is all the original stones and columns. The inside, however, is not original building materials but has been reconstructed to resemble the appearance of the building in 1860, when Lincoln last saw it before leaving for Washington D.C.

Lincoln’s body was brought to Representative Hall and placed in front of this picture of George Washington. This is the actual painting that hung behind President Lincoln’s coffin.

This red furniture was in the rail car that carried President Lincoln’s coffin from Washington D.C. back to Springfield, Illinois.

My husband and I both really enjoyed Springfield and seeing all the Lincoln sites. It is definitely worth the time and effort to plan a trip there!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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