Hernando, Florida to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, 1,360 Miles
Stop 5: Springfield, Illinois, July 3rd – July 6th
I heard you like Lincoln so I put some Lincoln on your Lincoln.
I mean I get why Springfield is totally obsessed with Abraham Lincoln but like…dang.
Day 16 was just getting to Springfield from Kentucky, about a 250-mile drive.
On Day 17 I went to 2 Lincoln-related things – the Presidential Museum & the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. The museum is AMAZING, they chronicle the lives of Lincoln, his family, & the people around them in such a vivid way that you can’t help but feel like you understand them all better as human beings & not just as historical figures that you read about in school. The tour is a series of rooms with mannequins telling Lincoln’s life story with exhibits of other objects & events in between. Apparently the 2 youngest Lincoln boys were total brats, there’s a whole room that just shows them destroying their dad’s office while he’s reading the newspaper without a care in the world. Some displays are real tear-jerkers, like the one of a slave auction & another of Abraham at 12-year-old Willie Lincoln’s deathbed. They’ve also got the most epic theater presentation EVER at the holographic “Ghosts of the Library” show – seriously, don’t miss it! The Lincoln Home site preserves not only Abe’s house but his whole neighborhood. There’s a guided tour through the house & then you’re free to wander through the surrounding couple of blocks for some displays in front of the neighbor’s houses. Make sure your phone is charged, I missed out on at least one augmented reality experience because mine was too dead to download the app. 😦
On Day 18 I rounded off my tour of Abe’s life with a visit to the Lincoln family tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery. The inside of the tomb is beautiful & the whole Lincoln family rests there except the oldest son, Robert, the only one to live into his adulthood. Poor Mary Todd Lincoln buried her husband & 3 of her 4 children. I spent the afternoon at the only non-Lincoln related site of my visit to Springfield, the Washington Park Botanical Garden. The grounds are beautiful & there’s a domed greenhouse to visit with lots of tropical plants. They also have a carillon, a musical instrument that’s actually a tower with bells. Sadly it only gets played a couple of time each week & none of them were when I was around to hear it.
Next Week: nature & history in Peru, Illinois!