Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lincoln Presidential Museum

We have driven through Springfield, Illinois many times...but finally took a couple of hours to stop at the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library.  This location is another listing in the book of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.  The complex was opened in 2005 and has the largest repository of Lincoln artifacts anywhere.  You can easily spend a few hours here to explore the different galleries and view the movies. 

Start you journey through the family log cabin

The only place where you can take photos are in the children's room and  in the central plaza where you  start on the "exhibit journeys".  One side shows Lincoln's youth in Indiana through when he became a lawyer.  The other side of the hall depicts his career as a politician, his troubled presidency, and his assassination.

Enter the White House to view the presidential years

Some of the exhibits include special effects which help to bring history to life.  The presentations of "Ghosts of the Library" and "Lincoln's Eyes" were very interesting and well done (though could be frightening to small children).

Period toys and costumes for the kids to enjoy

Lincoln Logs and a play kitchen area

The Treasures Gallery has artifacts from the life of Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd and their children.  You can see everyday things like his stovepipe hat and shaving mirror, also her music box and jewelry.  We were amazed to view a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln and also a draft of the Gettysburg Address written in his own hand.

We plan on returning to Springfield and spending more time, maybe a weekend, so we can also visit the other historic sites including Lincoln's home, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, Lincoln's Tomb and New Salem. 

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