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History Comes Alive
Many sites and attractions in historic Springfield will be brimming with free live performances and fun activities that will transport you and your family back in time – to the Springfield Abraham Lincoln knew and loved. From storytelling and interaction with costumed interpreters to visits with Mr. Lincoln, himself, this is a trip to the past you won't want to miss! History Comes Alive will run through August 13th.
Lincoln Public Library
A Carnegie library, built in 1902, the Lincoln Public Library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator
Illinois’ only fully restored wooden grain elevator listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An outdoor, self-guided interpretive tour allows visitors to experience the Elevator Museum anytime. Open June, July and August: Sundays 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., call ahead.
Route 66 Arcade Museum
The Rt. 66 Arcade Museum is chock full of vintage pinball and video games from the 1930s-1970s - most of which can be played. It's the perfect place to misspend your youth all over again, one quarter at a time!
Phone Booth on Lincoln City Hall
Built in 1895, the red brick for the building came from the Lincoln Coal Company. A unique telephone booth on the roof was added later and was used by weather spotters to phone in sighted storms. Lincoln City Hall anchors the downtown National Historic Registered District and is one of the city's most visible symbols.
Bethel One Room Schoolhouse
An icon of days past, this one-room schoolhouse has been restored by the Emden Historical Society.
Books & Crooks
This library is located in the town's old jailhouse, and still features the original cells. Feel free to take a book and curl up in your favorite cell.
Vin Fiz Landing
The historic flight of the Vin Fiz was the first air crossing over the United States. A marker located at the Dunlap House indicates the spot where the small airplane landed in Middletown on October 9,1911.
Emden Heritage Wayside
Located at the Emden Community Building, this sign interprets Logan County's proximity to Abraham Lincoln and his travels along the 8th Judicial Circuit
Atlanta Public Library
Built in 1908, this National Register Property is one of Illinois’ few octagonal-shaped public libraries. Its gilded rotunda and interior rooms, filled with solid-oak woodwork, reflect its classic architecture. Local volunteers who comprise the “Keepers of the Clock” take turns on a weekly basis hand-winding the 1909 Seth Thomas clock housed in the library’s clock tower.
The grave site of Ann Rutledge, Abraham Lincoln's first sweetheart, is located at Oakland Cemetery. Her tombstone bears an inscription written by poet Edgar Lee Masters, who is burried nearby.
Logan County Courthouse
This 1905 Neo-Classical building features a stained glass dome, the longest-serving courtroom in Illinois, a mosaic of the state seal, a statue of Abraham Lincoln and murals of Logan County.
Heritage In Flight Museum
The Heritage in Flight Museum is dedicated to the preservation of aviation history. The museum displays memorabilia and artifacts from all the military conflicts dating back to WWI. These mementos have been donated by both veterans and their families. The museum also offers tours and hosts flying events at the airport.
Illinois State Military Museum
Preserving the heritage of the Illinois National Guard, the museum is committed to collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the military artifacts associated with the citizen-soldiers of Illinois.
Exhibits focused on Abraham Lincoln, Route 66, and other aspects of Atlanta’s history are featured. The Museum’s Local History Resource Center provides extensive genealogy materials accessible to the public. Housed in a beautifully restored 1867 building, the Atlanta Museum presents both permanent and new, rotating exhibits. Open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sundays.
Mount Pulaski Township Historical Museum & Research Center
This museum contains numerous artifacts and memorabilia from the Mt. Pulaski area, as well as Abraham Lincoln items and information.
The Colaw Rooming House
Return to Rt. 66, circa 1947, when you overnight at The Colaw Rooming House. Where you'll experience travel on the Mother Road before Interstates and motel chains were the norm. Located just 2 blocks from Rt. 66 in quaint Atlanta, Illinois, The Colaw Rooming House offers three bedrooms, two full baths, a charming living room with fireplace, dinning room, curved front porch, and delightful yellow and red 1940's kitchen. To further enhance your step back in time, your stay includes a complimentary breakfast at The Palms Grill Cafe-Atlanta's fully restored, circa 1935 small town diner. For more information please visit our website www.thecolawhouse.com
Lawrence Memorial Library/Mata Simpson Resource Center
In 1905 Frank Lloyd Wright designed the interior of this school library which has been restore to its original luster.
Historic Marbold Farmstead
The Historic Marbold Farmstead is a treasured jewel in Menard County, Illinois. This was the central hub of the Marbold family farmland holdings, which consisted of over 4,000 acres. It was virtually self-sufficient, with several barns, dairy, chicken house, smoke house, ice house, boiler house and pump house. The original house, called Elmwood, was build in 1850 by John Marbold, a German immigrant and prominent Greenview farmer and businessman. Restoration efforts are underway. Located at 21722 State Hwy. 29 near Greenview.
Mount Pulaski Heritage Wayside
This wayside interprets the career connection between Logan County and Abraham Lincoln.
Elijah Iles House: Springfield's History Museum
Experience the historic Greek Revial-style house once owned by a founder of Springfield: Elijah Iles. It houses a permanent exhibit, Springfield as Urban Frontier 1818-1836.
Pig Hip Marker
This marker tells the story of the Pig Hip Restaurant and its famous sandwiches. A fire took the museum building in 2007.
Atlanta Inn is the only hotel located in Atlanta, Illinois. You can explore the historic town of Atlanta in central Illinois with the last great frontier of the modern world through exit No 140 off I-55 and save the memories for life. Pass through Logan County and see the rise of Abraham Lincoln from surveyor to legendary lawyer by traveling through historic Route 66 which crosses 8 states and 3 time zones.
Under the Prairie Frontier Archaeological Museum
This museum displays hundreds of authentic items from the frontier period, including artifacts that were excavated from the hilltop site of James Latham's 1819 cabin.
Menard County Historical Museum
Housed in an 1890 Victorian building, the Menard County Museum contains documents, records, clothing and artifacts related to Menard County.
Deskin's Tavern & Postville Well
Abe Lincoln often stayed at Deskin's Tavern when he traveled to Postville. A well where he is said to have quenched his thirst is also located on this site.
Lincoln Lot Site
The site marker describes how Abraham Lincoln once owned this lot, after it was deeded to him in recompense for a large debt.
Samuel Park's Office
A friend of Abraham Lincoln, Samuel Parks shared a law office with the future president and served on the Eighth Judicial Circuit with him.
Route 66 Memories Museum
Stop by this eclectic museum to explore the history of Route 66, car culture and local history. There is even a Rolls-Royce on display! The collection was brought together by a local historian with great stories to share. Located just a few doors from the Palm's Grill this museum is a must see.
Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon
Surrounded by gardens and a reflection pool, this magnificent bell tower in Washington Park is the third largest in the world, and one of the few that is actually open to the public.
8th Judicial Circuit Marker
One of the last remaining markers erected in 1922 marks the 8th Judicial Circuit on which Abraham Lincoln practiced law.
Within this breathtaking monument lie the remains of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and three of their four sons – located in the country’s second most visited cemetery behind only Arlington National Cemetery.
Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society
The genealogical and historical society encourages the preservation of Logan County's history and maintains a research center that treasures and collects Logan County family histories. They're the only research center that includes ALL of Logan County. Their research resources include historical books, maps, obituaries, cemetery records, marriages, births, family surname genealogy and more! Stop by for a visit to see the artifacts, old photographs, museum pieces, veteran's exhibit, as well as the new "Abraham Lincoln Room."
Rustic Inn Marker
This private residence was once a historic inn where a group of counterfeiters met to hatch a plot to steal Abraham Lincoln's body from his tomb in Springfield. Walk up to view the marker only.
Abe Lincoln Mural
Located in downtown Mount Pulaski, this mural depicts a young Abraham Lincoln in front of the historic Mount Pulaski House.
Lincoln House Hotel Marker
The Lincoln House Hotel, one of the grandest hotels between St. Louis and Chicago, stood in Lincoln from 1854-1870. Political luminaries who crossed its threshold included Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, David Davis and Richard Oglesby.
Illinois Korean War Memorial
The Korean War State Memorial, honoring 1,748 Illinoisans killed during the 1950-1953 Korean War, was dedicated on June 16, 1996.
Wall Dogs Mural
Eleven different, beautifully painted murals. Main Street Lincoln was instrumental in bringing these murals to our community.
Atlanta's Abraham Lincoln Interpretation Site
The site of an early political rally during Abraham Lincoln's campaign for President, now showcasing an interpretive sign explaining the historic significance.
Edgar Lee Masters Memorial Museum
This museum honors American poet Edgar Lee Masters, author of "The Spoon River Anthology." Memorabilia of his life and works are displayed in the house where he lived as a young boy.
Vachel Lindsay Home
The 1879 birthplace of the native Springfield poet/artist, this house remained Lindsay's only home until his death there in 1931.
Atlanta Heritage Waysides
Located at the Atlanta Museum, these three exhibits and 20 other prints depict a variety of Lincoln and Logan County events. It is located at the site of an early political rally during Abraham Lincoln's campaign for President.
Clocktower in Atlanta
Located next to the Atlanta Public Library and Museum the clock tower was added in the 70s. The clock itself is the original 1909 hand-would clock from the Atlanta High School.
Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War Museum
This museum features a complete set of the "War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies." The records might aid in your search for a missing link in your family history.
Elkhart Cemetery/John D. Gillette Memorial Arch
The cemetery is the final resting place of several notable figures, including Illinois Governor Richard Oglesby and John D. Gillette (Cattle King of the World). The Memorial Arch replaced the wooden bridge over which Robert Todd Lincoln walked during the Oglesby funeral procession in 1915.
Postville Courthouse State Historic Site
Postville Courthouse is the original seat of County Government in Logan County. The Courthouse site is a reproduction of the original courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. They offer a wonderful guided tour for all visitors. They also have Mary Todd's Medicinal Garden that is highlighted during the summer months.
Atlanta Public Library and Museum
Located across from Route 66 Park in historic downtown Atlanta, Illinois, the Atlanta Public Library is a hub of community activity and an attraction for tourists who are making the Route 66 pilgrimage. Throughout the year, the Library offers a wide range of programs for children, teens and adults. From reading, arts, and crafts activities for children to outdoor family programming, adult book clubs, writing workshops, programs for seniors, informational programs, and special events, the Library has something for everyone. Built in 1908, this octagon-shaped building is one of the few of its kind in the state. The museum in the basement of the library houses pieces of local history. The library and museum are both on the National Register of Historic Places.
WWII Illinois Veterans Memorial
The memorial honors the 90,000 Illinois men and women who served in World War II. A 22-ton white concrete globe symbolizes the conflict that involved more than 200 nations.
Air Combat Museum
This museum traces the role of military aviation in protecting and advancing the cause of freedom.
Lincoln Heritage Museum
Located on the campus of the only college named for Lincoln in his lifetime, the Lincoln Heritage Museum exhibits a rare and valuable collection of artifacts that tell the story of the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. The museum houses many rare Lincoln artifacts, including an 1860 campaign poster, a lock of his hair, Mary Lincoln's jewelry and Tad Lincoln's rocking chair. Also includes 9/11exhibit and other presidential artifacts.
J.H. Hawes Elevator
In the heart of our nation's cornbelt, just a block off Historic Rt. 66, you can discover your connection to Illinois' rich grain producing, storing, and shipping history by visiting the J. H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum.
Grand Army of The Republic Memorial Museum
A cornucopia of Civil War memorabilia, the museum features "Tinytype" by Civil War photographer Matthew Brandy. It was donated to the National Woman's Relief Corps in tribute to the Union Veterans of the war between the states.
Lincoln Christening Site/Watermelon Statue
A life-size statue of a watermelon commemorates the day the City of Lincoln was christened by Abraham Lincoln on August 27, 1853. The town's founders, John D. Gillett, Virgil HIckox and Robert B. Latham, were all personal friends of Lincoln.
Illinois Fire Museum
The museum is home to one of the nation's largest collections of firefighter patches, as well as antique fire service memorabilia, art works, equipment and sculptures.
Abraham Lincoln Long Nine Museum
Has electronic audio narrated dioramas that depict Abe the railsplitter, the self-taught scholar, the story teller, the lawyer and the politician.
Smiling Water Tower
This colorful watertower is found in the small town of Atlanta, IL
The Mill on Route 66
Built in 1929, The Mill Restaurant was a highlight of Route 66 in Lincoln. The building sat empty and was in danger of destruction, but is now on the way to recovery. Special tours will be given upon request and appointment.
Eastern National Book Store
Books and Lincoln souvenirs.
Illinois Executive Mansion
Home of the Illinois Governor, the mansion is the third-oldest, continuously occupied governor's home in the nation. Filled with antiques and historic artifacts. Built in 1855 the mansion contains 16 elegantly appointed rooms open for viewing, including the state dining room, a library and the Lincoln bedroom. Free public tours are available and are offered on the hour and half hour Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. as well as Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Lincoln Memorial Garden Nature Center
Located on the shores of Lake Springfield and designed by landscape architect, Jens Jensen, five miles of wooded trails lead you on a journey through the Illinois landscape Lincoln walked.
Korean War National Museum
Treasured artifacts, historial papers, and mementos tell the story of the Korean War through interactive exhibits. The first phase of the museum, The Denis J. Healy Freedom Center, is open to the public. The Center houses 3D-interactive exhibits, the Freedom Hall Theater, a canteen, and a center for Veterans and their families to record their personal experiences.
Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition
Abraham Lincoln spent 30 years in Central Illinois, where he raised his family and pursued his passion for the law and politics. Today, the 42 counties of the state's Central region have been designated as the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, which is managed by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition. The group is responsible for preserving the history and heritage of Lincoln’s Illinois, and offers information on historic sites and suggested tours.
Abraham Lincoln's original account ledger with the Springfield Marine and Fire Insurance Company is on display at Chase Bank during banking hours.
Stier Trolley Express
Climb aboard the Trolley, sit back and relax as we bring the history of historic Petersburg Illinois and the surrounding area to you. We will take you past several points of interest along your journey back in history. Petersburg is rich in Victorian Homes, most of which were built in the 1860's and 1870's. During your journey into history, you will be entertained by points of interest along the way. We will stop for a short while in downtown Petersburg. At this time, you may choose to disembark and enjoy the downtown area on foot. There are a variety of shops and eateries to wander through. Don't worry, the trolley will return to pick you up. Your ticket includes a round trip back to Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site. The Trolley runs on an hourly schedule. Consult with your conductor as to the return pick up times as well as the time of the last trolley of the day. Charter Available.
Route 66 Log Chapel
This hand-built chapel in Lincoln is open for prayer and meditation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lauterbach Muffler Man
This giant fiberglass statue stands outside Lauterbach Auto Service in Springfield, Illinois. You can see him and many other "Muffler Men" along the historic route.
Surveyed by Abraham Lincoln in 1836, the Petersburg Historic District is included on the National Register of Historic Places and has many outstanding examples of architectural styles.
Springfield & Central Illinois African American History Museum
The Mission of the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum is to identify, research, collect, catalogue, restore, house, maintain and interpret documents and artifacts relating to and chronicling the history and legacy of African Americans in Springfield and Central Illinois. The Museum will provide research opportunities, educational programming and interpretive services for historians, authors, educators, and others interested in the lives and legacies of African Americans in Central Illinois.
Built in 1833 this Italianate mansion entertained prominent solialites and politicians at many lavish dinner parties, summer picnics and political rallies in mid-19th century Springfield, Hold hands with your honey next the the authentic "Lincoln Courting Couch" still present in the home.
Route 66 Park & Tourism Center
This small park is right on Route 66, and it's a great place to check out the town of Atlanta. It is a great park, including flat area to run and playground for the kids to climb and run on, you and your family are sure to enjoy.
Abe Rail Splitter Statue
This clean-shaven statue of young Mr. Lincoln stands in front of the Illinois Exhibits building at Gate 1 of the State Fair Grounds. He is about 30 feet tall, a thin, gawky pre-grow-a-beard Abe. He holds an ax almost in Muffler Man configuration -- the statue is named "The Rail Splitter" -- and dates from 1968, when he was sculpted by Carl W. Rinnus, a Springfield native.
Lincoln's Family Pew
Abraham and Mary Lincoln maintained a family pew in their place of worship. You can quietly view the pew and beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows in the First Presbyterian Church.
Lincoln: History to Hollywood
“Lincoln: History to Hollywood,” an exhibition of sets, costumes and props from the Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film “Lincoln,” has opened at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex, located in downtown Springfield, Illinois. Items of note in the exhibit include Lincoln’s office set, a vignette of Mary Lincoln’s bedroom, Lincoln’s gloves, Tad Lincoln’s tin soldiers, and the rocking chair where President Lincoln sat with Tad. Most of the furniture pieces in the exhibit are antiques from the Civil War era, not reproductions. The exhibits are on long-term loan from Spielberg and DreamWorks Studio. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum features more than 40,000 square feet of galleries, theatres and historic displays that takes visitors on a journey from Lincoln’s humble beginnings through his Presidency. The “Lincoln: History to Hollywood” exhibit will be located in Union Station, across the street from the presidential museum.
Old State Capitol-Illinois Tourist Information Center
Located in the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln gave his "House Divided" speech. Here you'll find tourism information for the whole state. Many free events and performances throughout the year.
Route 66 Drive In
Restored and reopened drive-in located along historic Route 66 in Springfield. Single screen drive-in with double features nightly.
Stroll downtown Springfield and check out shops that carry everything from Lincoln souvenirs to one-of-a-kind jewelry and fresh-made fudge. Downtown is also host to many events and festivals throughout the year.
Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site
This is the only remaining structure where Abraham Lincoln maintained working law offices. Lincoln and his final law partner, William Herndon, operated from the top floor of the building from 1843 to 1852. Filled with clutter and makeshift furniture, the offices draw a vivid picture of what a normal day was like for Lincoln and Herndon. Today the building includes a visitor center, federal courtrooms and attorney offices. ***Closed for historic renovation. Plans are to reopen in late 2015 with a restored dry good store, Lincoln's law office and federal court exhibits.***
Dana-Thomas House by Frank Lloyd Wright
One of the best-preserved examples of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie design, this 35-room mansion contains some 100 pieces of original Wright-designed furniture and stunning art glass. Photo copyright Doug Carr, courtesy of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Paul Bunyon Hotdog Statue
Standing 19 feet tall and clutching a giant hot dog, this Paul Bunyon statue, not “bunyan” purposely spelled with an “o”, is one of Route 66’s mythic Muffler Man Statues. A few of these giants still proudly grace the roadsides of historic Route 66. This one is located in Atlanta, just across the street from the Palms Grill Café, which features fine fare from The Mother Road’s golden age.
The Palms Grill Café
The Palms Grill Cafe was a well-known restaurant during the heyday of Route 66. Recently the cafe was revitalized and reopened, and is serving up delicious nostalgia from the fabled Route 66 era. The Palm’s Grill Café has been baking pies and feeding hungry travelers and residents for decades. Their pies are so delicious they've even won a few state pie competitions. Saddle up to the counter or take a seat at a table; either way, the pie and coffee with the community atmosphere is enough to make any first-timer feel like a regular. Conveniently located right across the street is the towering Bunyon’s Statue, another one of Route 66’s famous Muffler Man Statues.
Old State Capitol State Historic Site
The Old State Capitol is a reconstruction of Illinois' fifth statehouse, the first to be located in Springfield. It is here that Lincoln practiced law, served as a legislator and gave his famed House Divided speech on slavery in 1858. The building served as the seat of state government and a center of Illinois political life from 1839-1876. The current State Capitol Building is the center of state government, where visitors can watch Illinois politics in action when the legislature is in session.
Here I Have Lived Exhibits
View over 40 outdoor interpretive exhibits placed throughout the downtown area to experience Springfield as Abraham Lincoln knew it. Each exhibit is intended to capture a moment in time for Lincoln and how he was affected by the people, places and events he encountered in his hometown. Each story is accompanied by graphics or photographs and a medallion that is symbolic of that particular story. Visitors are encouraged to collect rubbings of each medallion.
World's Largest Covered Wagon
The Railsplitter Covered Wagon, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest covered wagon in the world, is located on the front lawn of the Best Western Lincoln Inn, near historic Route 66. A statue of Abe Lincoln reading a law book sits in the huge wooden wagon, which stands 24 feet tall.
History Comes Alive
Every day for 12 weeks this summer, you’ll be able to take a step back in time as you participate in a whole array of living history performances and programs that will both delight and educate about the Springfield Abraham Lincoln knew and loved for most of his life. From Civil War encampments to White House kitchen chats with Mr. Lincoln himself, there’s something for everyone. Some events may have a fee.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Get an intimate look at Lincoln during a tour of the Lincoln Home, the only house he ever owned. The Lincoln family lived here from 1844 until they left for Washington. The Lincoln Home is located in a historic four-block neighborhood that looks much as it did in the mid-1800s, complete with wooden sidewalks. A visitor center and restored neighboring homes display exhibits that tell the story of Lincoln’s time spent with his wife, children and friends in Springfield.
Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
Step back in time and explore historic New Salem just as Lincoln knew it. This meticulously reconstructed 1830s village is where Lincoln lived as a young adult, studied law and began politics. Everything from the people to the blacksmith’s workshop gives visitors a glimpse into what pioneer life was really like when young, burly Abe was throwing down his axe.
Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site
The Tomb is the final resting place of President Lincoln, his wife and three of their four children. It was constructed between 1869-1874 in Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery. Be sure to rub the nose of the bronze Lincoln bust at the entrance, which is said to bring good luck. Dogs are allowed on the site; they are not allowed inside the monument. Dogs must be under their owner's control, leashed, and cleaned up after at all times.
Knight's Action Park
The theme park offers miniature golf, go-karts, batting cages, carnival rides and an arcade. While the water park features a wave pool, bumper boats, water slides, paddle boats and a lazy river. Catch a movie at the old-fashioned drive-in, adjacent to Knight's.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
This museum is one of the most-visited presidential museums in the nation where visitors can experience the entire Lincoln story under one roof, from Abe's humble beginnings in an Indiana log cabin to his days as president in the White House. Be dazzled by two special effects theaters featuring historical ghosts and a Civil War battlefield, life-like vignettes that depict important moments in the president’s life, and artifacts that range from Lincoln’s stovepipe hat to an original copy of the Gettysburg Address.
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway
The experiences you’ll find here are as unique, fun and memorable as the road is long. Route 66 defined a remarkable era in our nation’s history - and it lives on today in Illinois Route 66’s many roadside attractions, museums, restaurants - and the shining ribbon of blacktop we call The Mother Road. Illinois’ stretch of this mythic road boasts the highest density of kitschy, interesting things to do you’ll find from here to California. So, join us for the far out journey that never ends on Illinois Route 66.