When we made our road trip to Florida and back at the beginning of April, we had to pass through Illinois - the Land of Lincoln. Although I have previously visited Abraham Lincoln's tomb and home in Springfield, Mr. Cut Off had not, so we took advantage of this trip to give him that experience. We were headed south, so we stopped on the north side of Springfield to see the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site first. It's located in Oak Ridge Cemetery. It was pouring rain much of the day, but since we had just left snow in the U.P. 2 days earlier, we didn't let the rain stop us from enjoying our day. This is what we saw as we made our way through the cemetery and approached Lincoln's tomb.
We parked in the lot located near the custodian's residence - a beautiful stone building now used for site offices.
It's just a short walk down the sidewalk to the tomb.
President U.S. Grant (Lincoln's trusted general during the Civil War) dedicated this tomb at a ceremony in 1874 - 9 years after Lincoln's death.
We were told that as hard as they tried through the years, they could not stop people from rubbing Lincoln's nose on this bust at the site "for luck." They finally gave up and now provide wooden steps to assist people in reaching it.
Mr. Cut Off may have even rubbed Mr. Lincoln's nose himself!
When you walk through the doors of the building, you first enter a rotunda where you're greeted with lots of marble and this replica of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
As you head down the first corridor to your right, you'll see plaques mounted on the walls in some spots. Most of the plaques have texts of Abraham Lincoln's most famous speeches. The first one gives a brief description of his life.
Statues of Lincoln representing various stages of his life are located throughout the building where one corridor connects to another.
At the back of the building, you'll come to another rotunda containing Abraham Lincoln's vault. It's an appropriately solemn atmosphere where you can reflect on the life of our 16th president.
"Now he belongs to the ages."
If you turn around, you'll see the wall containing the crypts of Lincoln's wife, Mary, and 3 of their 4 children. If you aren't up on your Lincoln history, notice the birth and death dates of their children. Think about the losses these parents had suffered - one before Abraham Lincoln even became President of the United States - one while in the White House. Surely, Abraham and Mary Lincoln understood and had experienced the deepest of grief.
Even though there is a plaque for son, Robert Todd Lincoln, Robert's remains now reside in Arlington National Cemetery at the request of Robert's wife.
As you continue through the circle of corridors, you eventually end up where you started - back in the rotunda containing the replica of the Lincoln Memorial.
Making our way back outside, we stood to look again at the impressive structure and took the time to read the other markers outside.
One marker shows his descendants.
If you have not already made a visit to Springfield, Illinois, to see the tomb of Abraham Lincoln, I highly recommend the visit.
In upcoming posts, I'll share our brief stop at Lincoln's "first tomb" and our tour of his home in Springfield.
All is well in the Keweenaw.