3

Visit to Springfield, IL – Days 20-22

springfield sign

Springfield, Illinois is the Land of Lincoln and in case you forget, there are signs everywhere that will remind you. We focused our sightseeing on this aspect of the city. We also visited the cemetery where my Grandparents are buried.

On the first day, we finally found our stand alone Godfather’s Pizza restaurant! We had a nice lunch and Anthony even got his beloved streusel pizza (the gas station one didn’t have it). All was well with the world.

Godfathers Pizza Springfield IL

Lincoln Library and Museum

We went to the library first. It’s free to look at everything on the first floor and the research room is available to the public upon request. Unless you are doing research, there isn’t much to see here except some pictures on the wall and a few things in glass cases.

The museum is directly across the street from the library (it’s not free). It’s pretty easy to spot since there is a 31-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln out in front. He is standing next to a modern day man holding the Gettysburg address in his hands. Lincoln appears to be talking to the man. The symbolism is that Lincoln’s words in his famous speech are still relevant to us today.

lincoln museum statue

The museum itself is amazing. They did an absolutely fantastic job on everything in here. You can follow his life from childhood all the way up to his assassination.

Lincoln log cabin scene

Lincoln museum figures

First Job

Lincoln courting Mary

Courting Mary

Each display has incredible life like scenes with wax figures. It’s hard to explain and the pictures don’t do it justice. This is just something you have to see for yourself. It’s well worth the cost of admission, trust me on that. ($15.00 for adults and $6.00 for children 5-15).

Mary Todd Lincoln figure

At Willy's death bed

The Death of Willy

Mary in mourning

Mary in mourning (the room was actually dark and rain could be heard falling from the window behind her)

President Lincoln Meeting With His Cabinet

the war is over

The War is Over!

At Fords Theater

Joshua and Katie with Lincoln family wax figures

We don’t buy souvenirs everywhere we go but as soon as we walked into the museum gift shop, I knew I had to have this magnet.

lincoln magnet

Lincoln House

When I was six years old, my family and I visited Springfield and took a tour of the Lincoln house. All these years the only thing I have been able to remember from that visit was seeing an unfinished game of chess in the living room. I clearly remember thinking that Abraham Lincoln abandoned his game of chess to go to Washington D. C and be President.

Lincoln house

The house is really interesting. According to our tour guide, 80% of the contents of the house are from the time period the Lincoln’s lived there (1844-1861). Many things in the house belonged to the Lincoln family and are displayed where they had them.

Lincoln parlor

Parlor

coat rack with top hat

Coat rack near front door (notice the top hat?)

Mary's toilet

Mary’s actual toilet is upstairs in her room!

kitchen

Kitchen

We had a great tour guide who told us a lot of stories and gave us a fascinating glimpse of what life was like for the Lincoln family when they were there. You can easily imagine Mary walking in and saying “who are you and what are you doing here?” if not for the fact it’s clearly 2019, she’s been dead for 137 years and you have to stand behind railings to look at the rooms.

Lincoln chess game

A chess game still sits unfinished in the living room!

side view of the house

Side View of the House

The tour of the house is free but parking is $2.00 an hour. There are other old houses surrounding it that people can take self guided tours of (we decided to skip those). The streets surrounding the house are blocked off from traffic so people are free to wander around and take in all the history they want. It’s a pretty neat place.

Lincoln Monument and Tomb

The final resting place of most of the Lincoln family is at Oak Ridge Cemetery (oldest son Robert is buried at Arlington National Cemetery). If you go during opening hours, you can walk into the monument, walk down a long hallway and enter the room in the back where the Lincoln family is buried.

Lincoln tomb

Lincoln’s headstone is 7 tons of marble and his coffin is buried 10 feet below and several inches behind in a steel cage covered with cement. They took a lot of extra security measures after someone tried to steal his body in 1876 (they wanted to hold it for ransom).

Lincoln headstone

Mary and sons Edward, William and Thomas (Tad) are laid to rest in crypts  in the wall located directly across from Lincoln’s headstone.

Mary Lincoln grave

Lincoln sons graves

Tad Lincoln grave

Tribute to Grandma

My paternal Grandparents are buried in a cemetery in Lincoln Illinois, a short drive from our hotel in Springfield. I never knew Grandpa because he died before I was born. Grandma died eight years ago at the age of ninety. I know she would prefer I focus on her life so that’s what I’m going to do here.

Grandma and Joshua

Grandma and Katie 2011

Grandma was an incredibly strong, kind, deeply family oriented woman who loved Jesus. She continues to be a huge example to me because I still remember a lot of the things I learned from her. I’ll always be thankful she was at my wedding (she was the only grandparent I had left at that point) and that she knew my kids (they were six and three when she passed).

Katie still has a stuffed penguin that Grandma gave her on one of our last visits with her. It’s named Margaret, after Grandma. Katie brought Margaret the penguin with her when we visited the cemetery. We love and miss you, Grandma!

Grandma Reineke grave

Moving On

Next stop, St Louis! If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Take care!

signature

Barbra Jones

3 Comments

  1. Hi Barbara 

    I  have read a lot  of stuff about Abraham Lincoln but I have never been to Springfield. You make the place sound very enticing and some time in the near future I would like to visit it.  Pizza and a visit to a museum sound like heaven to me. How much does it cost to gain entrance to the museum?

    It must be sad for you to visit the cemetery where your grandparents are buried. Is there anything else I should look out for?

    Thank you

    Antonio

    • The museum costs $15.00 for adults and $6.00 for children ages 5-15. A great price considering how much there is to see there. I suggest taking the free tour of the house as well. I was sad at the cemetery as I still miss my Grandma, but I’m glad we got to go out there. Thank you for your comment! 

  2. I’m glad to be reminded of Springfield IL and the grand old days of Abe Lincoln. Politics in geographic locations have tended to see saw throughout history. The streusel pizza at Godfather’s sounds pretty amazing. Also amazing is the Lincoln statue in front of the museum, one that you definitely can’t miss! I like the symbolism in this statue as well. The museum displays look unreal (or real I should say). I too don’t get souvenirs often, but I could see myself walking out with something from here. Lincoln House looks equally fantastic. I appreciate that 80% of the contents are original. I’m glad to read your heartwarming story of Grandma and I will definitely be making a trip out here, thank you!  

Leave a Reply to Barbra Jones Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *