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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. Open 7 days a week.
In the early 1800s, Alton became a safe haven for slaves escaping from the bonds of slavery. Because of the area's neighboring slave state of Missouri, runaways found refuge in the free land surrounding Alton. The tunnels of the Underground Railroad run deep beneath the streets along the "Alton Route." The area was a major stop along the Underground Railroad, hiding slaves in caves, barns and basements throughout Alton, Otterville and Jerseyville. Hear the slave's tales, feel their fear and learn about Alton's remarkable past on an Underground Railroad Tour. Tours available by appointment only.
Tucked away in the rolling hills of Germantown is a Civil War Fort. There is a jail, civil war cannons, a stage coach, a livery, log cabins, and much more.
This Italianate home was presented to U.S. Grant in 1865 and opened to the public in 1904. Furnishings original.
“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.
Walk in the footsteps of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Civil War soldiers from both North and South. Experience the life of young Lincoln as a lawyer, duelist and orator. It was here that the final Lincoln-Douglas Debate took place, with the issue of slavery on the minds of spectators. It was here that Confederate soldiers were held captive, died and were buried. It was here that Alton resident and U.S. Senator Lyman Trumbull authored the 13th Amendment, putting an end to slavery in the United States. Experience the 11 historic sites interpreted along the Lincoln & Civil War Legacy Trail.
Built in 1833, Alton houses Illinois' first state penitentiary. During the Civil War, the facility imprisoned thousands of Confederate soldiers. Partial remains of the structure can still be observed today.
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.
Visit Underground Railroad sites such as Woodlawn Farm, as well as Jacksonville-area homes that were part of the Railroad.
The 1840s Lamon House is believed to be the oldest framed residence in the Danville Area. The home was constructed by Joseph Lamon, cousin of Ward Hill Lamon, President Abraham Lincoln's law partner and presidential bodyguard. The Lamon House is open Sundays, 1:30 - 4:30 PM, throughout the summer and by appointment.
Built in 1874, this Italianate mansion was the home of Richard J. Oglesby, a U.S. senator and three-time governor of Illinois. Oglesby was also a Union general in the Civil War and a close friend of Abraham Lincoln.
The Vermilion County Museum was built as a replica of the 1833 county courthouse where President Abraham Lincoln practiced law from 1841-1859. Exhibits include the Lincoln Law Office in Danville, a schoolhouse, coal mine shaft and more.
This monument remembers those who died in the infamous Alton prison. A smallpox virus spread rapidly through the Alton Prison in 1863, killing more than 1,435 incarcerated soldiers. The soldiers are laid to rest here and each of their names is commemorated at the Memorial. The Alton Prison and Confederate Cemetery are some of the rare northernmost monuments to the Confederate Soldier.
Named after Civil War General John A. Logan, the college combines modern architecture and a beautiful park-like setting. Memorabilia of General Logan and his wife, Mary, are on display in the museum and art gallery at the college.
This cemetery is the final resting place for many Civil War veterans, as well as Thomas and Sarah Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's father and stepmother.
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.
The Byron Museum Complex consists of a large Exhibit Hall and the historic Lucius Read House, which was on the Underground Railroad and is a listed site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The Read House features a permanent exhibit entitled, ‘From Shackles to Freedom: The Underground Railroad’ which shines a spotlight on Byron’s participation in the Underground Railroad. We are happy to accommodate group tours outside regular hours. Tours are free and are self-guided or a docent can be arranged. We also have ample meeting space available.
The Vermilion County War Museum, housed in a former Carnegie Library, contains over 25,000 artifacts and memorabilia ranging from the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The museum enjoys a steady stream of both U.S. and foreign visitors who appreciate the ever-increasing collections of artifacts and research materials.
This original 1844 building was once a stagecoach stop, tavern, post office, town hall and candy store. Completely restored by the Village of Gurnee, this historical home is reported to have been part of the Underground Railroad.
The Dr. Richard Eells House was a stopping point on the Underground Railroad in the 1840s, and is the oldest standing two-story brick home in Quincy.
Painted in the 1930s on the upper interior wall of Chester's post office, this fascinating mural depicts pre-Civil War riverboat activity on the Mississippi River.
Museum and education center highlighting our nation's social heritage through captivating exhibits and programs. Stories of the 1915 Eastland Disaster, and experience life on the run following the Underground Railroad.
The Civil War Soldiers Monument, on the southwest corner of the Stephenson County Courthouse, is inscribed with the names of those soldiers from Stephenson County who lost their lives in the Civil War. On the southeast corner is the Stephenson County Vietnam Era Veterans Memorial, which is a bronze statue of a full-sized M-16 with a bayonet stuck in the ground and a helmet on top.