Living in Kentucky, we have several nearby Abraham Lincoln landmarks that we love to visit. But recently, we traveled over to Illinois to make some family memories learning about Lincoln in Springfield. We visited his home and his tomb while on our 40 Hour Vacation.
Learning about Lincoln in Springfield
Abraham Lincoln may have been born in Kentucky, but he lived many years at this homeplace in Springfield, Illinois.
We were able to tour the house where he and his family lived before he accepted the presidency. The most fascinating thing to me on the tour was the opportunity to see some of the the actual furniture that President Lincoln used. Even the couch in the main room is where President Lincoln reportedly was sitting when he accepted the presidency.
It was an awesome feeling to see the desk that President Lincoln used. It wasn’t an elaborate roll top or a fancy piece of furniture. Looking at the desk helped my children better understand the tall man who wore the big black hat and made such an impact on our country.
There is a visitors center with an interactive display showing you the city of Springfield.
Visiting President Lincoln’s Tomb
Located right outside the city of Springfield is President Lincoln’s tomb. It is of course always considered good luck to rub Lincoln’s boot, but here it is also obviously good luck to rub his nose. You can go inside the tomb and see the actual burial site and learn about the strange circumstances of his various burial sites through history. There was a park ranger inside the tomb ready to answer questions and give us some details about the design and structure of the tomb.
Things to Know:
- There are no strollers or baby carriers allowed in the actual home.
- You are not allowed to touch anything in the home. Because much of the furnishings and structure is original, they guard it carefully.
- Make sure you get a picture of the house from the corner. This is one of the most popular views of the house and can be found in pictures all through history.
- Cameras are allowed inside the house.
- You can take the walking tour of the grounds without a ticket. But to tour the house, you must get a free ticket in the visitors center.
Why is this visit important?
Typically, our children learn about history out of a book. But we want our children to be able to connect the history they learn in the classroom with real world experiences. While we were there, the Park Ranger asked a question dealing with a Lincoln historic topic. To our surprise and delight, our 11 year old son was the first to answer the question. He had learned about the event in school last year and was able to connect the past to the present. I love when our kids can see real history and take pictures at these locations.
Read more about Lincoln Connections in Kentucky
Lincoln Homeplace on the History Channel
I saw an episode this past week of Only in America where Larry the Cable Guy visited the Lincoln Homeplace and learned about Abraham Lincoln. What a fun episode.
Have you visited any of the Lincoln landmarks in the United States? Do you find it fascinating to tour these historical sites? I’d love to hear your favorite.