Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Land of Lincoln - Part 1

On Friday (06/30), a friend from high school and myself began the five and a half hour (325 mile) trip from Farmersville, Ohio to Springfield, Illinois, hot on the trail of Abraham Lincoln. The painting (below) was taken in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum there - a must see! I was in Springfield years ago, before the museum and library were built, so I had an incentive to return.

Lincoln's house - the only one he ever owned - is still there and the tour is free. Lincoln lived in this house for 17 years, from 1844 until he left for Washington in 1861. The site is operated by the National Park Service and the setting is in a traditional four-block neighborhood that is said to look very close to what Lincoln last saw. There is no access to cars so you can walk safely down the middle of the gravel streets (in Lincoln's time, they would have been dirt - often mud).

A close-up shot of the architecture along the roofline. The brown paint with green trim is said to be exactly how Lincoln had the house painted. Lincoln, by the way, had a number of renovations done to the structure, perhaps the most important being the addition of a second story.

The parlor is decorated as in Lincoln's time. At the fireplace, Lincoln is said to have spread himself out on the floor and read the newspaper.

Springfield is a wonderful city to visit: clean and tidy. You can walk the downtown streets after dark and feel safe. There is a good deal of activity on weekend evenings. Check out their Convention and Vistors Bureau at www.visit-springfieldillinois.com