Category Archives: Historic Sites

Lincoln Tomb custodian’s home

A contract to build a home for the custodian of the Lincoln Tomb was awarded to Col. James Culver’s contracting company in August 1895. The cost was $2,500, and the design was very specific. The Illinois State Journal spelled it … 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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Robert Irwin (Lincoln banker & friend)

On May 18, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln wrote to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase about an “old friend who has served me all my life, and who has never before received or asked anything in return.” The friend, Robert Irwin, … Continue reading

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Two days in May: The funeral of Abraham Lincoln

As the funeral train carrying the coffin of President Abraham Lincoln pulled into Springfield’s Chicago & Alton station the morning of May 3, 1865, dozens of special trains had already disgorged visitors from all points of the compass. Thousands more … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Historic Sites, John T. Stuart, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln, Abraham, Local government, Railroads | 2 Comments

Stephen A. Douglas’ missing finger

Before he was Abraham Lincoln’s foil in the 1858 contest for U.S. Senate in Illinois and then for the presidency in 1860, Stephen A. Douglas was a regular presence and sometime resident in Springfield. Douglas also was, briefly, Lincoln’s rival … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Early residents, Historic Sites, Illinois capital, Lincoln, Abraham, Politics, Presidential candidates, Prominent figures, State government | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Buildings, Historic Sites, Lincoln Home, Lincoln, Abraham, Local government, Museums, National Register, Parks, Presidents, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Executive Mansion demolition plan, 1963

Postponed maintenance, repair crises and general dilapidation have been recurring problems at the Illinois Executive Mansion – most recently in 2014 and 2015, when a leaky roof and mold in the basement helped create a need for more than $5 … Continue reading

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The Historic Preservation Association of Springfield

Note: This post has been revised by the author. By the middle 1980s, the preservation of historically and architecturally significant buildings had become the subject of growing attention in Springfield. This attention reflected national trends, as well as regret over … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Historic Sites, Local government, National Register, Springfield | 3 Comments

Lincoln Tomb: Statuary and symbolism

This entry is a lightly edited version of a presentation given by Mark Johnson, historian for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, to the 2014 volunteer dinner hosted by the Lincoln Monument Association, a non-profit support group for the Lincoln Tomb.  … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Arts and letters, Historic Sites, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln, Abraham, Military, National Register | 3 Comments

National Lincoln Monument Association directors, 1865

The National Lincoln Monument Association, officially organized on May 11, 1865, oversaw fundraising for and construction of Abraham Lincoln’s tomb. Although members originally planned to build the structure on land that now is the site of the Illinois Statehouse, the … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Sites, Illinois capital, John T. Stuart, Journalism, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln, Abraham, Local government, Media, Politics, Prominent figures | Tagged , , | Leave a comment