For more than a decade, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has provided visitors with a unique insight into the nation’s 16th president. The museum is home to an incredible collection of artifacts, books and documents that help tell the story of the man who presided over the country during one of the most difficult times. The library is not part of the National Archives and Records Administration’s network of presidential libraries. It is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Abraham Lincoln went to the Great Western Railroad depot on the morning of Feb. 11, 1861, to begin his inaugural journey to Washington D.C. Lincoln and his eldest son, Robert, planned to leave on the 8 a.m. train, while the rest of his family would follow later that day. Lincoln gave a short speech to the group of friends and family who came to see him off. Today, the privately owned depot features Lincoln-related exhibits.
Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, is famous as the final resting place of President Abraham Lincoln, his wife and all but one of his children. Lincoln’s Tomb, Oak Ridge, the third and now only public cemetery in Springfield, is the second-most visited cemetery in the United States, after Arlington National Cemetery. William Saunders designed the cemetery as part of the Rural Cemetery Landscape Lawn Style. The location was selected, in part, because of the rolling hills.
President Richard Nixon authorized the Lincoln Home National Historic Site Aug. 18, 1971. The park was formally established on Oct. 9, 1972, to preserve and protect the only home ever owned by President Abraham Lincoln. In total, the park’s buildings make up four-and-a-half square blocks on 12 acres. Among the buildings is the home where the 16th president of the United States lived from 1844 to 1861.
The Old State Capitol State Historic Site, in downtown Springfield, Illinois, sits where the state’s fifth Capitol building once stood. Built in the Greek Revival style between 1837 and 1840, the building served as the state house from 1840 to 1876. The building was extensively altered during its life as a courthouse. So, to restore and preserve the edifice, workers dismantled and rebuilt it between 1966 and 1969. The building today resembles how it looked in 1860 when Lincoln last saw the capitol before leaving for Washington.
The Illinois State Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is the state’s official museum of the natural history. Founded in 1877, the museum was originally located inside the sixth Illinois State Capitol but moved as the state government expanded. Between 1961 and 1963, the state built the museum’s current building, the first purpose-built state museum. Exhibits include local fossils, dioramas of Native American life, a collection of glass paperweights and archaeological and ethnographic artifacts.