Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Land of Lincoln
Though this is my second trip to Springfield to visit all things Lincoln, this was my first trip to his tomb. I guess I never thought about visiting where he was buried until I read a book about the several attempted thefts of it and associated controversies and this time I decided a visit was in order. I recently got to visit the tombs of two U.S. presidents in my journey to the Boston area so it was nice to visit a third and pay my respects.
Unlike my recent trip to St. Louis, visiting the tomb of Abraham Lincoln and the only home he ever owned are completely free to the public. We enjoyed both of them. My only regret is that several people mentioned the museum on Abraham Lincoln as being spectacular and somehow I missed it until we were already gone. I guess it gives me an excuse to go back.
Lincoln's tomb contained many statues of him at various parts of his life that were really well done.
Judging from the people visiting the tomb while we were there, almost nobody walks to the backside of the tomb. There isn't much to see but there was a very ornate wrought iron door with stained glass on the backside.
Most people rubbed the nose of the large bust of Lincoln out in front of the tomb and quickly walked through the tomb. They completely missed the signs talking about the prior tomb where Lincoln and his son had been buried while the monument was being built.
In the old part of Springfield is the only house Lincoln ever owned. The park service has purchased several blocks and turned many of the original houses of Lincoln's era into museums worth visiting and of course, his own house into a virtual time capsule.
The house and furniture are more than 90% original to Lincoln and his family. In the room above, all the furniture was used by the man himself and this is the room where he learned that he was nominated to be the candidate for President. Below is his actual writing desk that he used and I can only imagine the stories it could tell. Having always wanted a dedicated writing desk but never having room for one, someday I would love to build a replica of the one below when I have the space to put it. Perhaps after the kids vacate the premises.