Monday, November 22, 2010

THE Trip, Our Day With Abraham Lincoln

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

After checking the weather forecasts, we decided to stop in Springfield Illinois so that we could visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.  Man and I have visited the Truman Home in Independence Missouri and the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock Arkansas.  We found them both to be moving and interesting and have decided we will try to visit other libraries and museums during our travels.  We did not get into the Lincoln Library on this visit, but, we did spend considerable time at the Museum, we walked over to the site of his law offices and to the home he and Mary owned in Springfield, now a National Park Service property.

In the museum photo opportunities were limited, so very few photos.  This museum opened in 2005, it is very well done, with an amazing collection of artifacts intermixed with holograms, movies, sound, special affects.  Man and I felt it was tastefully done and were very moved and impressed.

Reproduction of the Lincoln home in Indiana.
(Those wax sculptures of people were kinda eerie,
but did add to the overall experience.)
The Lincoln's standing in front of the White House
(Note:  The Lincoln's fourth son had died before
they moved to Washington, therefore
he is not depicted here.)

We did not realize we had arrived in Springfield on the 147th anniversary date of the Gettysburg Address.  The museum has a special exhibit, "Team of Rivals", based on the work of Doris Kearns Goodwin.  This day in the Union Theatre (a part of the Museum) they had a reading from her work.  The reading covered the battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  Man and I enjoyed the reading very much.

After spending several hours leisurely taking in the offerings of the Museum, Man and I headed over to the building where Lincoln had his law offices.  We were a bit late jumping in the tour, so missed some of the information, but, it seems that he had offices there for a number of years, at least 3 different sets of offices in the same building on 2 different floors. 

The law offices.
(Note:  I have no idea if any of this
furniture is original, lets just
say it is representative of what
the offices would have looked like.)

Next, we walked several blocks over to the Lincoln Home site run by the National Park Service. Tickets are free, but your tour is scheduled for a specific time.  You are allowed to take as many photos as you want, even with a flash.  That surprised us somewhat, well, surprised us a lot, but, if they say OK, I am more than happy to oblige them!

This Black Forest wall clock, ca 1825 to 1860, either American or German made was not in the Lincoln home, but in another house nearby which housed some artifacts and historical displays.  The signage indicated it may have been a wedding present from Robert S. Todd, Mary Todd Lincoln' father.  Enchanting, isn't it?

Here is the Lincoln home in Springfield, the only house they ever owned, around 3100 square feet, located on the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets.  In the back of the home there are two water pumps, one for rain water collected and stored in an underground cistern, the other is connected to a well for the drinking water.  There is an outhouse, a three seater.

Just inside the front door:

In one of the front parlors, the tour guide told us this is an original piece of Lincoln furniture, horsehair.  There were several pieces of this handsome furniture on display:

Some time during the days tours and learning, was a reference to how much Mary loved the color purple, a gal after my own heart.  I am not sure if this tea set was a Lincoln original, I have my doubts, the finish has not mellowed much, no matter, I still love it.

This small writing desk was upstairs in the master bedroom, we were told it was owned by the Lincolns.

Man and I really enjoyed our visit to the Lincoln Presidential Museum, the law offices building and the Lincoln's home. 

This statue was on a Springfield downtown street. Our 16th president.



Dorene from Ohio said...

So much history in this blog post---just fabulous photos!!

Barbara Poole said...

Nice experience and you're so educated now! I enjoyed seeing these pictures. Abe's desk sure looked small, wonder if he did much work there.

Mary said...

Beautiful pictures and great post. The only presidential library I've been to is Harry Truman's in Independence's so long ago I barely remember

Michelle Goodrum said...

Wow is all I can say. Looks like I've got another destination to add to the "bucket list". This one would not have occurred to me. Thank you!