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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.
This historic home is furnished with memorabilia from the early days of Montgomery County, and is open by appointment.
Historic Montgomery County Courthouse
This historic courthouse was built circa 1858.
Carnegie Public Library
This historic 1904 building houses one of the most complete genealogy departments in the area.
One of the oldest colleges in Illinois, founded in 1837. Blackburn is also one of only seven colleges in the U.S. where students work in exchange for tuition credit, and the only one whose Work program is student-run. This keeps Blackburn's tuition among the lowest of all private colleges in the United States. Over the years, students have literally built Blackburn, brick by brick; the only college campus in the United States to be largely built by its students.
Macoupin County Courthouse
The Macoupin County Courthouse, built in 1870, used to be the largest county courthouse in the United States, with the possible exception of one in New York City. It was even larger than the Illinois Statehouse. While the courthouse still serves as the seat of county government, it has also become a showplace that attracts tourists, architects and artists from across the country, as well as overseas.
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.
The Holy Dormition of the Theotokos Catholicon of the Patriarchal Russian Orthodox Catholic Church
Established in 1907 by a group of Russian immigrants who lived and labored in Beneld, the group built homes and raised their families while adding their customs to the area's ever-mixing cultures.
Hot Metal Heaven Museum
This museum features a collection of letterpress printing memorabilia.
Carlinville Historic District
The Historic District includes the Macoupin County Jail, Million Dollar Courthouse, and the largest collection of Sears & Roebuck mail-order homes in the U.S.
Macoupin County Jail
The historic 1869 Macoupin County Jail was designed by E.E. Meyers. It was built using the "cannon ball" method which prevented jail breaks by making it nearly impossible to remove the blocks. This unique medieval-inspired fortress housed many lawbreakers during its 119 years of use, but only one prisoner escaped. He was soon apprehended a few blocks from the jail.
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.
Macoupin County Historical Society Museum
The Macoupin County Historical Society Museum is housed in the John Anderson mansion, originally built in 1883. The main house is a museum with exhibits that chronicle the development of Macoupin County and its citizens. In addition to the mansion, several other buildings on the grounds emphasize the county's history: a one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, church, wash house, granary and herb garden.
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.
Historic Wabash Train Depot
This historic train depot features a preserved facade and a renovated interior that houses specialty shops.
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.
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.
Battle of Virden Monument
The 1898 Battle of Virden, the tragic result of local coal miners fighting for worker’s rights, is memorialized on the northeast side town square by a large bronze mural created by sculptor David Seagraves of Elizabeth, IL.
World Cowboy Gunspinning Hall of Fame and Museum
This museum was established in 2003 to honor those individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport of gunspinning, made famous on the silver screen and television.
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.
Sky View Drive In - Litchfield
The Sky View Drive-In Theatre in Litchfield opened in the Spring of 1950 and has been in operation each season since then. We are a seasonal operation and run from the first or second weekend in April until the end of September. Open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center
Designed to reflect the Route 66 era, the museum houses exhibits which focus on the roles the railroads, Route 66, businesses, agriculture, and the military have played in Litchfield's history.
Eastern National Book Store
Books and Lincoln souvenirs.
The Ariston Cafe was founded by Pete Adam, a Greek immigrant, in Carlinville, Illinois in 1924. The original cafe was located on Route 4, the predecessor of Historic Route 66. In 1929, the Cafe was relocated to Litchfield, Illinois and moved into its present location on Route 66 in 1935. Since 1966, Pete’s son Nick and wife, Deme, continue to offer the traditional service expected of a family-owned and operated restaurant. The cafe is believed to be one of the oldest restaurants on Route 66 and has been inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame and is placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Doc’s Soda Fountain
Located on historic Route 66, this was originally a pharmacy built in the 1880’s. The soda fountain was added to the business in the 1950’s. Stop in for an old-fashioned treat or ice-cream. Doc’s is also open for lunch and dinner.
Original Brick Road
This beautiful 1.4 mile long piece of restored hand-laid brick road is a segment of 66 done in 1931 and placed over a concrete roadbed. Route 66 at its best.
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 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.