Category Archives: Museums

Old Stone House, Rochester

The Old Stone House, a project of the Rochester Historical Preservation Society, is an 1830s dwelling moved from its original site east of town to near Rochester Community Park. It is open periodically as a living history demonstration. The house … Continue reading

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Lincoln Tomb custodians, 1874-1975

Five men served as custodians of the Lincoln Tomb in the century from 1874, when the still-incomplete tomb was dedicated, and 1975, when tomb management was reorganized. They were: *John Carroll Power (1819-94), a Kentucky native and failed farmer, was … Continue reading

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Lincoln Home neighborhood in 1971 (Nelson Howarth)

Nelson Howarth, with only a week to go in his third and final term as mayor of Springfield, testified in April 1971 before the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation in support of designating the Lincoln Home neighborhood … Continue reading

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Chatham railroad history

In the early 1800s, like many other places on what was then “the frontier,” lack of reliable transportation was an impediment to the growth of Sangamon County. The Sangamon River was an outlet to the Illinois River, but was too … Continue reading

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Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum began, unlikely as it seems, in New Harmony, Ind. Former museum director R. Bruce McMillan described the quandary that faced Illinois’ first state geologist in his article on the museum’s centennial , “The First Century,” published … Continue reading

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The Payne Stone Age Collection

Edward W. Payne (1857-1932), a Springfield banker and property investor, amassed a huge collection of stone relics — most, though not all, from pre-Columbian America — with the intention of building a museum to house them. At his death, however, … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum controversies

Design and construction of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum took years and involved a variety of political squabbles and maneuvering. If politics could have been put aside, the facility would have been completed much sooner. Of course, since … Continue reading

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Destruction of the Lincoln Tomb sarcophagus

How did the marble sarcophagus that covered the coffin of Abraham Lincoln in the early years of the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site come to be broken?  Was it a workmen’s accident? Or was it done on purpose by souvenir … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library site (Fever River)

The site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential  Library and Museum is one of five areas of Springfield that Fever River Research has studied exhaustively.  The resulting reports  are extraordinarily informative historical and archaeological analyses. Fever River Research says it “specializes … Continue reading

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Culver Marble and Stone Co.

The Culver Marble and Stone Co. and its offshoots, headed by Col. James S. Culver (1852-1911), were among the Springfield area’s most prominent builders from the early 1870s until 1912. As a contractor, the Culver firm was given credit for … Continue reading

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