Are you a history buff and fan of our 16th president? If so, then you’ll love diving into the rich history Abraham Lincoln’s hometown has to offer! The state’s capital, Springfield, is home to more Lincoln sites than anywhere else in the nation. Explore everything from Abe’s house to his outstanding presidential museum with these three must-see suggestions!
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Start the historic journey by traveling back in time to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. The intimate tour gives visitors a look at the Lincoln Home, the only house Honest Abe ever owned. Lincoln was a fervent advocate of broad education, and as the house is located in a quiet four-block neighborhood, it gives a nice glimpse into what language was used in those days and what life was like with his wife, children, and friends in Springfield.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Continue embarking on Lincoln’s life story by checking out the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. This historic attraction is one of the most visited presidential museums in the nation. Visitors can delve into Lincoln’s history, spanning from Abe’s beginnings to his days as president in the White House, all under one roof. If you weren’t an Abe expert before, you’ll certainly become one after this visit! Then, if you wish, you can check out the city of Peoria as well.
Naper Settlement Outdoor History Museum
Naper Settlement, the Chicago & Beyond region’s only 19th–century village, has been perfectly maintained to serve as a family-friendly outdoor living history museum. The 12-acre grounds feature 30 historic buildings that replicate an old pioneer township, including homes, shops, chapel, fort, and one-room schoolhouse.
Costumed villagers and interactive exhibits make the settlement come to life for more than 125,000 visitors each year. To encourage history exploration at all age levels, you can find a variety of exhibition galleries to visit as part of the tour experience at the Naper Settlement.
The galley with the name ‘Brushstrokes of the Past’ is a combination of artifacts, artwork, and historic photographs are woven together to share the story of the development of Naperville from a humble frontier settlement to the well-established modern-day city that we know today. And if you want to learn more about the US presidents from Illinois, read this post.
The ‘Heritage Gallery’ hosts temporary exhibitions on a variety of topics and themes, highlighting the museum’s archival collections and artifacts, collectors, local artists, and traveling exhibitions.
‘History Connection’ is geared toward young historians with a number of hands-on, engaging activities. The ‘Food for Thought’ exhibit encourages playing with your food as you go on a scavenger hunt throughout the grounds of the settlement to search for food-related items in the historic buildings.
The settlement was established in 1969 by a group of volunteers interested in saving the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church from demolition. This group became the Naperville Heritage Society and raised enough funds to transfer the church to the grounds of the historic Martin Mitchell Mansion. Caroline Martin Mitchell donated the mansion, and its surrounding 212 acres, to the City of Naperville in 1936. She requested her home remain a museum in perpetuity. Today, Naper Settlement continues to thrive and grow while teaching future generations about the importance of remembering the past. See also this page about March Madness in Peoria