In the first post in my Land of Lincoln series, I shared the photos I snapped on our recent visit to Abraham Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, Illinois. You saw the custodian's residence. . .
and the tomb itself. . .
where Abraham Lincoln is buried with his wife and 3 of his 4 sons.
This was not the first resting place of Abraham Lincoln's body, however. The permanent tomb took years to build, and his body was not actually moved into it until 1871 - when it was still under construction.
In the meantime, his body rested in 2 temporary tombs.
The first temporary tomb is located on the Oak Ridge Cemetery grounds - just down around the corner from Lincoln's permanent tomb.
It was still raining, so we stayed in the vehicle to view the first tomb.
The square white sign to the right of this temporary tomb reads:
FIRST RESTING PLACE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest here, in Oak Ridge Cemetery's public vault, during services held May 4, 1865. Government officials, members of the military, foreign diplomats, and private citizens gathered to witness the ceremony.
Over the following months visitors in the thousands came to pay their respects. A New Yorker found the "stone doors of the sepulcher were open, and the sentry permitted people in small parties to approach the iron grating and view the coffin within. It was draped in black, and festooned with garlands of flowers and evergreen shrubs. . . . Sadness pressed heavily upon me at the scene."
The president's casket, along with that of his son William, who died at the White House in 1862, remained here until 1865. They then were moved to a newly-built temporary tomb, located about midway up the ridge.
Built in 1864, this receiving tomb, like those found in many American cemeteries, served "those who in their bereavement are not immediately prepared to site a Lot for the final resting place, also those who are awaiting the arrival of friends." Oak Ridge remodeled and enlarged the vault in 1891.
That concludes our visit to the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site. We'll head over to Abraham Lincoln's Springfield home next.
All is well in the Keweenaw.