A Pit Stop at the Lincoln sites in Springfield, Illinois

“…To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything….”


Abraham Lincoln

Hope you all that celebrate Easter, had a great one! I visited family in Springfield, Illinois and it was such a nice trip!

I ended up driving up to my families house Saturday morning so that my Dad and I could go visit some of the Abraham Lincoln sites in Springfield. It was the perfect day for it! Finally some real spring weather, and I enjoyed every moment!

Lincoln Home

Our first stop was the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

This was the home Abraham Lincoln lived in with his new wife, Mary Todd (1844), while working hard at his career as a self taught attorney. He and Mary had four children in this home, one of which actually died in this home. The Lincoln family lived here until President Lincoln was voted in (1860) as our 16th President of the United States.

Each room has its own history. The tour guides paint a very vivid picture for you of what life was like for Abe and his family. I give the guides a 10! For instance, the Parlor, where the Lincolns entertained their guests as well as the room where a committee formally notified Lincoln of his nomination.

I really enjoy some good history every now and then, and here I hit the jackpot. The entire street is really a site to see. It takes you back in time, reminds us of all the incredible things Abraham Lincoln did for our country!

The best part about this pit stop… The tour is free, and it was National Parks Day so the normal $2 parking fee was waived. Lucky us!

Lincoln Tomb

After this stop, we decided to drive over to the Oak Ridge Cemetery to see the grave site(s) of Abraham Lincoln and most of his family… Wondering why I put an ‘s’ at the end of site?… Did you know there are actually multiple grave sites?

Temporary Tomb

As you may know, Abe was assassinated in April of 1865. Because his death was sudden they did not have a proper burial site for him. So he was buried in a temporary tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery. In 1876 thieves were caught literally stealing Abraham Lincoln’s body from this temporary tomb. The thieves got away and were caught in Chicago 10 days later. Can you imagine!?

Permanent Tomb

Up until his final burial [directly behind the smaller temporary grave site] in 1901, his body was moved 17 times and the casket opened 5 times. His family wanted him to finally be at rest so they decided to bury his casket ten feet below the floor of the tomb, then surround it in concrete.

This tomb is the final resting place for not only President Lincoln, but his wife, Mary and three of their four sons.

I was in awe when walking through this tomb. First of all, it is ginormous!! But, it is sculpted granite, marble and bronze all throughout the tomb, with sculptures of Abraham throughout his life, on each corner of the tomb. It was incredible!

I have seen a few things, tomb of the unknown soldier being one of them, but this tomb was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

If you are in Springfield, Illinois and have a couple hours, go see Lincoln’s home and his burial sites. It will be a history filled day of fun!

Oh, and don’t forget to rub Abe’s nose for good luck! I did!

Until next Monday,

Em

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29 comments

  1. This was very fascinating! Can you imagine having a body stolen?! And having to bury it so many times?! I’m not from the U.S. but America has so much history!

  2. With the quaint house and gigantic tomb preserved so well, this placed seems like a great historic pit stop indeed. And the sculptures are so well crafted!

  3. Just got back from NYC and would have loved to venture more towards Illinois but was short on time. It is quite a historic house where the man himself lived with his wife. So much of history and I would definitely visit the Lincoln home being a history addict. The other parts I would want to visit is his burial site and pay my respect. Overall I think you had a great Easter break with the family and a run into American history as well.

  4. Thanks for sharing some of your American History. We don’t cover much of that in Australia. It was interesting to learn more about Abraham Lincoln’s burial sites. The cheek of those thieves!

  5. I had not heard previously about the Lincoln sites at Springfield, so thanks for your post about them. I love that the house he lived in once married is a real period showcase now, showing the typical furnishings of the era. Also fascinating to read about the multiple grave sites!

  6. What an interesting place to visit! Abraham Lincoln was one of the most beloved presidents of this country. I have only visited his memorial in Washington DC, but would surely love to go visit his house in Springfield, Illinois.

  7. I live in the Midwest, but I have yet to wander to Springfield to visit Abe Lincoln’s old stomping grounds. I regret that I haven’t already. I love that they preserved his home and we are able to take a glimpse into his “ordinary” life. I’m struck by the stark contrast how famous folk live today compared to ordinary Americans. I feel as though Lincoln lived similarly to other Americans which makes me see him truly as one of the people and not as otherworldly as today’s celebrities.

  8. The quaint house of Abraham Lincoln home is so adorable. It feels great when you can turn pages of history and actually visit places. Its a good read for me. I would love to visit his house. You have covered it well.

  9. It is great to see that they did not charge for the tour of Lincoln’s home. The guide must have been fascinating to listen to. I can’t believe that thieves actually stole his body – what a cheek! Hope you have lots of good luck coming your way.

  10. Oh! I did not know that Abraham Lincoln had a temporary tomb and thieves tried to steal his grave. This was quite an interesting history. I love visiting historical sites and places. I really enjoyed reading your article.

  11. As a history buff, that’s a trip that I see myself doing, when I visit Illinois.
    Oh my! I didn’t know that Lincoln was put in a temporary tomb and worse it, it was plundered!!! This is sad.

  12. THe monument with Lincoln, his wife and four sons is pupular, I remember from the movies, but never had a chance to see for myself. Maybe one day.

  13. What a fascinating place! As a history geek, I have heard about this place and would love to visit someday. Despite knowing a lot about this place, I really enjoyed your article and even learned a couple of new things. Thank you for sharing this lovely article.

  14. Oh my gosh how fun! I didn’t know this was even a thing! I would love to go see Lincoln’s home and old stomping grounds! What a fun piece of history

  15. I love visiting places like this on my travel! By visiting Abraham Lincoln’s home, you get to peek into his life and understand how he spent time with his family. I will definitely keep this on my list of things to see in Illinois!

  16. Definitely adding this to our itinerary. We’re visiting IL next month for a wedding and we would love to maximize our trip. It would be awesome to learn more about Abraham Lincoln. Thank you for this recommendation.

  17. This sounds like a fun trip for a history lover. Thanks for the new knowledge also. I had no idea that his body had been moved so many times!

  18. I’ve lived in Chicago for the last 8 years and even worked for the state for a while and have somehow never been to Springfield! I guess it’s not surprising if I think about it, but I didn’t realize there was so much to see and learn re Lincoln there. Such a fun and important piece of history – I definitely need to make a trip down there ASAP!

  19. I really have a very few knowledge of the stories far away from me. 🙁
    I’d love to visit these sites one day, such an interesting history!

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