Springfield, Illinois:

Springfield, Illinois — You’ve probably visited Springfield dozens of times on your way to Chicago and your northern destination. Along Interstate 55, there is a gas station that offers delicious sandwiches and yogurt bowls to which you can add your favorite toppings.

It’s embarrassing to say that until recently I hadn’t stayed to take in what the city offers. I thought it was a Midwestern town full of attractions that were less attractive than those offered by Kitsch and St. Louis in Lincoln, but why bother?

But even if you go to Springfield just for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, it’s worth a look. It is the highest caliber national museum created for what many believe to be the greatest President of the United States. So you should believe that it is pretty spectacular on its own.

What you have to do

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

This Tour Deforce is an immersive experience. With a brief introduction from your guide, you’ll start with circular architecture, then step into the young Abe hut to learn what his early life was like. Sneak out of the back door and look at the images that shaped his early life, such as slave markets and shops. Then travel the night he met Mary Todd (signs around the exhibit lead you to a location in Springfield where you can find the very home where it and other events happened). Then travel over time to learn about public office, the Lincoln-Douglas controversy, and political movements. Once you know he has won the White House, you’re done with this part.

In the next part of the exhibition, we will move to the White House. First a beautiful gown welcomes you, followed by nasty caricatures, sick children, the Emancipation Proclamation, and finally the Ford’s Theater and funeral. For some reason, the creators of this museum were able to take sights, sounds, lights, moods and turn them into raw and meaningful emotions. You may want to take some tissue.

Get out of the 1865 tragedy and step into the world of music. The museum hosts a temporary exhibition (until January) called “The State of Sound,” focusing on Illinois music, from Muddy Waters to Cheap Trick.

(The museum costs $ 15 for adults. The library is located across the street and is primarily used for research purposes. The museum also operates a historic Union Station across the street, but is closed for refurbishment. Has been.

Lincoln Toom State Historic Site

On the hills of the beautiful Oak Ridge Cemetery is the majestic Lincoln Cemetery. Inside is the final resting place for Abraham Lincoln, his wife, Mary, and three of his four sons, Edward, William, and Thomas (known as “Tad”). Their eldest son, Robert, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery at the request of his wife. The outer structure itself is 72 feet square and 117 feet high, with four bronze sculptures of infantry, cannon, cavalry, and navy, and a bronze statue of Lincoln that recreates the marble Lincoln head of Gatson Borgham. It seems to be protecting. , Will appear in the United States Capitol.

Inside the tomb, a marble corridor lined with quotes from the Gettysburg Address and his second inauguration speech meets a reduced version of Lincoln’s famous statue as he approaches the burial chamber.


Lincoln Home

Get ready to go back in time and explore Lincoln’s recreated home, as well as his neighborhood. The National Park Service has acquired four blocks around the house where Abraham and Mary Lincoln raised their families in Springfield. The intent of the park service is “to provide cushioning to Lincoln’s house, without risking direct development, and to provide a barrier to the modern world,” said the site administrator who gave me a little tour. Tim Goode says.

If possible, the houses around Lincoln were restored to their 1850s look, he said. On our tour, he pointed out that Lincoln worked for himself, but never left the modest neighborhood, despite building a second story at home. He also said that the house looked pure white (but the tapestry of the discrepancy was, uh, interesting), but probably not in Lincoln’s daily life with a family of boys. rice field.

(It’s free, but a ticket is required. liho / index.htm)

Dana Thomas House

Part of an architectural wonder, museum and historic site, this house is a must-see, not just for Frank Lloyd Wright fans. Built in 1902-1904 for wealthy suffrage Susan Lawrence Dana, she found a kinship spirit in Wright. Her prairie-style home was the largest and most expensive he designed, said Justin Blandford of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, who runs and tours the site. From the secret ice box that kept the frozen desserts for the kids in the neighborhood to the duck pin bowling alley in the basement, it takes hours to discover all the wonders of the house. However, on a brief tour, you can see the gorgeous stained glass in almost every room, the Japanese influence, the indoor fountain, and the outdoor reflective pool that hints at some of the subsequent works of the lights.

The house is adorned with over 100 pieces of custom furniture and over 250 pieces of original art glass. It also includes unique features that light enthusiasts have come to see from all over the world. This includes two of the three barrel ceilings he created (they are spectacular, but not perfect). “But this was a purposeful home,” said Blandford. He explained how Dana used open spaces to host events for state movers and shakers in the hope of promoting women’s rights. “She used her wealth, her home forever.”


Other attractions

Visit a local craft brewery. While waiting for the coffee shop to open, I talked to a woman who came to Springfield on the weekend enjoying a local brewery that the town had to offer. Certainly the day before, I had a Ditzy Blonde and an Upside Down Brown Coffee Ale at Obed and Isaacs ( The downtown beer garden hops on weekends with bocce balls and even small dog runs. Other craft beer breweries to check out include Anvil & Forge ( and Buzz Bomb (

Ride along Route 66: The famous Route 66 passes through the town, and fans can see signs that guide them along the way. has a list of iconic destinations along the way, but a fun route to get beer, pizza and the horseshoe shape, Springfield’s most famous food 66 Motorhead Bar, Grill, Museum Fans are encouraged to kick in, among some cool decorations — and slot machines. (

Eat a horseshoe: Legend has it that Springfield’s most famous dish was created in 1928 by the Leland Hotel’s dishwasher (or the chef who teaches it). Basically, it’s an open-faced sandwich with toasted thick bread, and you can enjoy it to your liking. Meat (ground beef seems traditional), secret cheese sauce and fried. The smaller version is called pony shoes. Both are great and are served in perhaps half of the restaurants in town.

Or eat a gorgeous dinner: Yes, there are some great restaurants in Springfield. For example, in the case of Vere, who moved from downtown to a suburban strip mall during a pandemic, its decorations, bars, and food are not cookie cutters. Grab a chair at the bar, order a pink lady (luberb gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, lubarb bitter, egg white), chat with the bartender and try hamachi crude, half-shell oysters and beef tenderloin bite. You will not regret it. (

Access to Megastore: North Dakota-based sporting goods chain Scheels offers another opportunity to meet the president (a mannequin that can pose). You can also swivel on the in-store 65-foot Ferris Wheel, grab fudge, buy outdoor gear, and watch fish in the 16,000-gallon aquarium. (

Knights Action Park: This family-owned amusement park has been part of Springfield for nearly 90 years. In the summer, people gather for waterslides, go-karts, wave pools, spray playgrounds, batting cages and driving ranges. Prices are different. (

Drive-in theater: You can maintain the mood of Route 66 by heading to the Route 66 drive-in theater. Here you can catch new features such as “Black Widow” and stay in “Cruella” for $ 32 per car. I really wanted to do this because there is no drive-in in the immediate vicinity of St. Charles’s house, but unfortunately the charm of a hotel bed with a cable, the luxury not in the house trapped me inside. But the next time I’m in Springfield, I’ll go drive-in. (

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Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. Lincoln’s Graveyard at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. Dreamstime / TNS

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Dreamstime / TNS

Dana Thomas House, a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Springfield, Illinois, is shown. Dana Thomas, a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright・ The house is shown. In Springfield, Illinois. Dreamstime / TNS

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum records the life of the 16th US President Abraham Lincoln and the course of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum A life-recording president, Abraham Lincoln, and the process of the Civil War. Dreamstime / TNS

Thank you in the land of Lincoln

Amy Bartland

St. Louis Post Dispatch

Springfield, Illinois:

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