August 1, 2011 Springfield, IL

Hello from the hot and humid land of Lincoln. We are staying in the State House Inn which is about a block from the Capitol building. We have a little apartment here – kitchenette (no cooktop), living room, dining room, bedroom and bath. It’s probably the most space we’ve had on our trip.

A sacred ritual - cup of tea and a puzzle

John multi-tasking

Our plan today is to walk to the Lincoln Museum taking in the historic sites along the way. One of the first things we see is the place where Lincoln and Mary Todd spent their honeymoon. Well, maybe not the actual place. It seems that although this site is plaque-worthy, it has been turned into a parking lot.
Romantic parking lot

Then we pass the Old Capitol Building which I have just learned while doing research for my blog entry is not “old” at all. It is a reconstruction from the 1960’s of the building which was used by the Illinois legislature from 1839-1876. Hmmpf. Better than a parking lot, though.
Reproduction Capitol

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library is great even though they won’t let us take Clark and Lewis in – NO backpacks allowed! There are many interactive displays and we learn stuff we didn’t know. For instance, I didn’t know that seven states seceded during Buchanan’s administration. This happened right after Lincoln was elected but at that time the inauguration was not unitl March, a long lame duck period for the outgoing President. We learn not only about political maneuvering but also Lincoln’s personal life. Both he and Mary Todd Lincoln were terribly distraught over the death of their son, Willie, while Lincoln was President. Only one of their children, Robert, lived past 18.
The Lincoln family

Since we were not allowed to take pictures inside most of the exhibits and since Clark and Lewis weren’t allowed in at all, we found some statues by the train station to pose by. I cannot even begin to tell you how hot the bench was. I opted for standing up and not actually touching Lincoln’s shoulder. Clark and Lewis didn’t seem to mind at all.
Lincoln's hot!

Finally here’s the new State Capitol actually built way before the reconstruction of the “old” Capitol. It was started in 1869 and completed in 1889. It’s in the French Renaissance style.
Old new Capitol building

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *