American history is so interesting. Our ancestors were passionate, hardworking, unique people. They were compassionate and dedicated to freedom. I love learning more about them.
Looking for Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois is a fascinating and very rewarding experience. Lincoln was our 16th president. He was known for his honesty and compassion. He was a great president who led our country through the Civil War and began the process of ending slavery. Although he was born in Kentucky, most of his life was spent in central Illinois. The Looking for Lincoln Heritage Foundation brings history to life.
We recently attended a birthday party at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The party was not for Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday. The party celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, which promotes tourism in the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. This is where Abraham Lincoln lived, campaigned, and raised his family. The coalition promotes and coordinates tourism, activities, historical preservation, storytelling, and events. The birthday party was a fundraiser for the Coalition.
The birthday party included an Abraham Lincoln impersonator, drinks, heavy appetizers including Springfield’s famous “horseshoe” bites, a few political speeches, and birthday cake. One of three of Abrham Lincoln’s remaining stovepipe hats was brought out of the vault and displayed. The hat was purchased for a mind boggling 6.5 millon dollars! Then we were allowed to tour the whole museum. It was a great time.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is located in Springfield, Illinois. The museum occupies an entire block on North 6th Street of downtown Springfield. The library is just across the street.
The museum opened in April of 2005. Touring the museum is fascinating and very entertaining. The museum chronicles the history of Abraham Lincoln’s life and the War Between the States.
The library is a research library and is open to the public. It has a large collection of documents about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. The documents of the Illinois State Historical Library are also stored there. There is a reading room for the public as the documents to cannot be borrowed.
The Museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm everyday except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission for adults is currently $15. Seniors and students can get a discount admission for $12. Children over the age of four can get in for are $6.00 and under the age of five are free. Admission includes all displays and two theatre shows. There is often a separate charge for special exhibits.
Exhibits in the museum include replicas of a life sized log cabin, areas of the White House, and Lincoln’s theatre box at the Ford Theatre. The permanent exhibits are divided into divided into two different stages of the president’s life, called “Journey One: The Pre-Presidential Years”, and “Journey Two: The Presidential Years” and a “Treasures Gallery”. The exhibits are both entertaining and educational.
Admission to the museum includes two theatre shows. Ghosts of the Library is a Holavision about why the library collects “old stuff”. Lincoln’s Eyes is a short biographical film about Linoln which includes a very loud surprise. Both shows are amazing!
Currently there is a special exhibit about the four presidents from Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama in honor of the Illinois Bicentennial. Among the pictures and artifacts are a saddle used by Grant, Lincoln’s briefcase, and some of the First Ladies dresses. There is no extra charge for this exhibit and it will be available until December 31, 2018.
Outside and across the street from the museum is another interesting exhibit: “Lincoln: History to Hollywood”. This exhibit is on display at the Historic Union Station and features sets, costumes and props from the award-winning Steven Spielberg film, “Lincoln.” Admission is an additional $5.00 for this amazing display.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum also has a large gift shop, Subway Restaurant, and special event rooms, and meeting rooms.
Springfield, Illinois Tourist Sites
212 N. Sixth St., Springfield, IL 62701 (217-588-8844)
112 N. Sixth St., Springfield, IL 62701 (217-588-8844)
500 E. Madison St. Springfield, IL 62701 (217-782-5764)
Springfield’s historic Union Station is a restored former train station and is now part of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum complex. Props, sets, and costumes from the Lincoln movies starring Daniel Day Lewis are currently on display.
413 S. 8th St. Springfield, IL 62711
(Purchase tickets at the Visitor Center located at 426 S. 8th St. 217-492-2141)
A beautiful restoration of the Springfield home and neighborhood of Abraham Lincoln and his family. Visit the Arnold House nd the Harriet Dean House also.
Tours are free – first come, first served.
15588 History Lane
Petersburg, Illinois 62675 (217-632-4000)
This site is a reconstruction of the little village where Lincoln spent his early adult life. It is located about 20 miles northwest of Springfield. The Park has a little village of furnished log cabins to tour, a theatre, and a campground.
6. Lincoln Tomb
Oak Ridge Cemetery. (217-782-2717)
1441 Monument Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702
The Lincoln Tomb is about 2 miles north of downtown Springfield. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, and three of their four sons, Edward, William, and Thomas.
112 N. 6th St., Springfield, IL 62701 (217-785-7289)
Currently closed for renovation followed by budget issues. The Springfield City Council voted in April 2018 to reopen but have not yet set an opening date.
Lincoln practiced law in this building from 1843 to about 1852 with his partner, William H. Herndon.
930 E. Monroe St. Springfield, IL 62701 (217-544-8695)
Lincoln boarded a special inaugural train at the Great Western Railroad station, now known as the Lincoln Depot. The Depot is privately owned but the first floor museum is open to visitors on weekdays from 10 am until 4 pm or by special request on weekends and holidays.
1 Old State Capitol Plaza
6th St. and Adams Street
Springfield, IL 62701. (217-785-7960)
A reconstruction of Illinois’ fifth statehouse, the first to be located in Springfield. It is here that Lincoln practiced law, served as a legislator and gave his famed House Divided speech on slavery in 1858. The building served as the seat of state government and a center of Illinois political life from 1839-1876.
30 minute tours are available. Open 9 am to 5 pm daily, closed on most major holidays.
603 S. 5th St., Springfield, IL. 62703 (217-524-0901)
This site is the birthplace and home of Nicholas Vachel Lindsay. Lindsay was known for his poetry, art, and performances of his literary work. The house once belonged to Abraham Lincoln’s sister-in-law. It has been beautifully restored.
Open limited hours. Call for tour schedule.
11. Edwards Place
700 North 4 th Street, Springfield, IL 62702 (217-523-2631)
“Edwards Place was the home of attorney Benjamin Edwards, youngest son of Governor Ninian Edwards and brother-in-law of Mary Lincoln’s sister Elizabeth. Although the Lincolns did not court or marry here, Edwards Place is currently home to the “courting couch” on which Lincoln and Mary Todd sat during the early days of their romance, originally the property of Ninian Edwards.”
Tours are available Tuesdays through Fridays.
624 S. 7th St., Springfield,IL 62703 (217-492-5929)
This 1830’s house belonged to one of Springfield’s founding fathers an friend to Abraham Lincoln. It has been restored into an historical museum.
Other attractions in Springfield, Illinois include the Governor’s Executive Mansion which is recently restored, the Illinois State Museum, the Dana Thomas House, Washington Park’s Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, Henson Robinson Zoo, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Gardens. There is also a SCHEELS sporting goods store which includes a Ferris wheel, aquarium, video games, and fudge factory and a Knights Action Park/Waterpark and Route 66 Drive In Movie Theater. Be sure to visit Charlie Parker’s Diner for it’s famous giant pancakes and horseshoes.
Lincoln is an historical movie starring Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field, and Hal Holbrook. It is 3 hours and 51 minutes long. It was released in 2012. It is very good movie. The settings and costumes are amazing. The DVD can be purchased at Amazon.com.