Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Mini Epic Road Trip 2016: Springfield (IL)

Day 3- Springfield (IL): Our mini epic road trip continued on day 3 as we left St. Louis and crossed over the Mississippi River into Illinois. The state sign welcoming us to Illinois was up high in the middle of the highway, so we couldn't stop to take a picture. That's just rude Illinois.

Speaking of state signs, I totally forgot to most my state sign last time for Missouri, so here it is! :)

We were on our way to Springfield (IL), which is where Abraham Lincoln's home and presidential library and museum are all located. Fun fact. The Lincoln library isn't listed on the National Archives Presidential Libraries and Museums website because that site only list presidents from the 20th century and beyond. A little rude if you ask me, pre-20th century presidents are just as important, but whatever. The Lincoln museum was my eighth presidential museum, I have twelve more to go.

Anyway, on our way to Springfield, we saw a sign about the historic Route 66, so we took a quick detour. Yes, we took a 10 minute detour just for a picture, that is how we roll. :) 

Just a girl along Route 66

Our first stop in Springfield was at the Lincoln Home National Site. This was the only house that Abraham Lincoln ever owned. He and his wife moved into it in 1844 and lived there until their move to Washington, DC when he became president in 1860. They had intentions of moving back there after his presidency, but, of course, that sadly didn't happen.

Lincoln's son Robert donated the home to the state of Illinois in 1887 under the condition that it would be forever well maintained and open to the public free of charge. It is free to see the home (but you do have to pay for parking. I think it was $2 per hour). We spent about two hours there. In order to see the inside of the home, you have to get a "ticket" from the front office and a park ranger will give you a guided tour of the home. Tours leave about every 10-15 minutes. Our ranger was Ranger Rosie and she was great!

Lincoln's house
A lot of the furniture wasn't original to the home, but it was authentic furniture from that time period. The mirror in the bottom left corner was original to the house though. It's kinda cool to think that Abraham Lincoln once looked in that very mirror.
Going up the staircase of Lincoln's home (yes I took a picture of my hand on it, stop judging me). This is the original banister. The history nerd in me thought of all the times Lincoln used that very banister to go up and down the stairs of his home. He walked down that same staircase when he left for Washington DC, unaware that he would never return to his beloved home.
Just chilling on Lincoln's back porch
This was a step used when people got in and out of carriages back in the 1800's. Ignore my pale leg.
Funny story. Well, it was funny to me. At one point during our tour, Ranger Rosie looked at me and said, "Don't worry, Dean and Sam have already been here and there are no ghosts." That's a reference to the show Supernatural (which is what my shirt is in reference to). It made me laugh. Supernatural fans unite. Lol.
This is a reproduction life casting of Lincoln's head and hands, based on a plaster casting made in 1860. So here I am giving Lincoln a fist bump.

After our tour of the home, we went to pay our respects at Lincoln's grave site. It's about a 15-20 minute drive from his house.

Don't ask me why, but evidently you are supposed to rub the nose on this statue for good luck. So I did. I can use all the good luck I can get right now.

We finally made our way to the museum by late afternoon. It closes at 5pm and we got there a little before three, so it gave us roughly about two hours. We still saw the whole museum, but I could have easily stayed another hour or so reading every part of the exhibits. There was a short film when you first enter the exhibit area that is a must see. Here is a YouTube video I found about it (but seeing it in person is so much better).

This museum was amazing. When I first walked in, I didn't think it looked that big, but it went further back than I realized. If you are ever in Springfield, IL, this is a MUST SEE. Even if you aren't that much of a history nerd, you will enjoy it. I can't embed the video, but click here for a little bit more about the museum.
My 8th presidential museum and library

Lincoln's shaving mirror
Lincoln was known for his stovepipe top hats. There are only three of his hats still in existence today. This hat is one of those three. This was in an area of the museum that said no photography. I was possibly holding my phone and accidentally hit the side button that takes a photo. It was an accident. You have no proof it wasn't.
They have life size statues to take pictures with!
We walked around downtown Springfield after the museum closed. We saw the building where Lincoln's law office was located (the sign is still there). Evidently you can usually tour the inside of it, but it was closed for renovations. We also went by the train station where Lincoln said farewell to the city of Springfield as he left for Washington, DC. Oh, we even ran into Lincoln himself!! Okay, we ran into a local actor who portrays Lincoln at all their historical events. He also plays Lincoln in the video we watched at the Lincoln Home National Site. Super cute town. Wish we had more time to explore. I'm sure there are many places we missed. 
A group selfie with Lincoln 
Honest Abe himself!
Yes I touched the door. Quit judging me for wanting to touch history. Lol.
Before we left, we went by the Illinois state capitol. When we were in Little Rock, we went by the state capitol there, so we decided to see the state capitol in each state we visited this trip (see first part of my recap here). Day 2 of our trip can be found here.
It was closed so we couldn't go inside. It was pretty outside though!
We left Springfield to drive to Hannibal (where we would spend day 4). As we were leaving Illinois, we saw a welcome side on the other side of the highway, so we turned around to get a picture by the Illinois sign. Yes, we are nerds. Although I'm sure Aaron would like me to say that Mel and I were the nerds and he was just along for the ride. Lol.
Taken as I was leaving Illinois, but oh well, still got my state sign picture. :)
I promise to get day 4 posted soon! I've been working a lot of overtime. Sorry I missed my What I'm Loving Wednesday yesterday! Thanks to my faithful participants who had WILW posts anyway!! :)

1 comment:

  1. Girl, you really do have the most fun - I love it. I'm trying to wrap my head around why it would be good luck for one to rub the nose of Abe Lincoln. Hmmm....