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Old 10-28-2007, 10:54 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
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Just got back from Springfield Illinois to see Lincoln sites

We left thurs after lunch and took the trailer over to see the various Lincoln sites in Springfield.

The first night we had a frustrating time trying to find the Sandchirs lake State park so we could camp. We drove around for about two hours before finding a very disappointing campground. It seems like Illinois can't afford to put up comprehensive signage to get folks to their campgrounds.

The next day we got up early and moved to a private campground called the double J south of town, run with teutonic effeciency by a Strict lady. The place was not the latest in all things but everything was spotlessly clean and well organized.

We went first to the new Lincoln Museum and Library. To call it a Library seems a little silly but it was really nice. The building was very elaborate Architecturally and contained nice lifelike statues of the Lincoln family and Abe at various ages. (It portrayed him as being fair complected and blue eyed but in his own words he was dark complected and gray eyed). There were several nice movies and good displays including a fairly extensive on on Mrs. Lincoln who has gotten a lot of bad press through the years.

We also went to the Lincoln Law offices across the street from the old capital building. These both were very enjoyable. The law offices did not have any electricity nor lights and were pretty dark as it was getting near sundown on a cloudy day.

The old capitol building is very striking looking, made of (apparently native) sandstone with a simple, impressive Greek Revival style. It is very nicely restored and maintained inside with a very interesting central stairway with a large landing halfway up with large stairs coming up from below from the north and south and going on up running east and west. It has the old senate and house meeting rooms with circularly laid out desks. Very very nice, IMHO.

The second day we went to the New Salem village reconstruction. This was interesting too but I was less interested in it I suppose because it was all reconstructed, and I have seen a lot of very old log cabins that are real in Indiana.

In the afternoon we visited the Dana Thomas home. It is a massive 12,000 SF home designed (and built they said) by Frank Lloyd Wright. The origninal owner commissioned it on an "open pocketbook" basis. (Oh don't I wish I had a client with that sort of budget just once!) It is full of nooks and crannys and varous levels with all of its original furniture designed by FLW and every window containing art glass designed by FLW too. It includes varous theatrical touches, double high spaces and interconnected views form different levels. There is a library in the lower level, an electrically controlled safe and call system along with a bowling alley.

They said the 60,000 cost to build would be equal to 5m today. I don't doubt it at all. It was restored at a cost of 5m in the nineties.

It was done from 1902 to 04 but looks remarkably modern.

Just one of the lamps designed by Wright was bought to be put back into the house in the last ten years or so for 1.3 million. I can only imagine what the value of every artifact would be if sold off part by part....$50,000,000?

Worth the trip to Springfield by itself for any Architecture buffs.

Just don't try to stay at the Sandchris state park, or if you do, get good directions from mapquest....I don't know why I didn't, I just had faith that there would be good signs like I am used to here.

Tom W

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Last edited by t walgamuth; 10-28-2007 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:14 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Great narration of your sightseeing adventures...

...except for the campgrounds, I've been to the other places...took them for granted though, as they were school field trips back then.

The next time I visit my parents, I'll have to go back and revisit the sights!
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:38 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Thanks.

Tom W
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:28 AM
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Back in 1970, I was part of our Oshkosh-area Boy Scout Troops' trip to hike the "Lincoln Trail" (a 22+ mile trek from New Salem to Springfield) that was the supposed route Lincoln took when he was elected to a particular public office. This particular route was one that he apparently walked/hiked on a regular basis 'til the time came for him to move on to bigger and better things.

As for the Boy Scouts, you needed to hike the route, following the completion of a book-report on one of a few selected books about Lincoln himself. Following the book report and acceptance of same by the "Lincoln Trail Committee" you were notified that you would be eligible to hike the trail. Upon the successful completion of the hike, you qualified for a medal.

As it turned out, our group ended up "pushing" the bus we were in, through many intersections along the way (Problem turned out to be a dirty carburator and fuel filter, which finally was diagnosed by a CITGO Service Station at the last "breakdown" point. Anyone remember those plastic "daiseys" that CITGO was giiving away back then? That bus's areodynamics was GREATLY HINDERED by those things...the dealer was MORE THAN HAPPY to get rid of the d*mn things. )

Anyways, our group turned out to be the last one in that evening at the park, we set our tents up in the dark, munched on whatever we could scrounge from other campers in the area, then waited for dawn and the impending trek.

Next morning, with dew-ladend shoes and socks, we headed off on the trek...almost EVERYONE with a arch in their in-step ended up with blisters on their feet. I, for some other reason (other than the fact that I am flat-footed) came way with tired-dogs, no blisters.

Two members of our group didn't qualify for the medals due to the fact that because of the blisters on their feet, they "hitched" a ride for the last two miles to the fire station and the "trail master" witnessed their disembarkment from said tranportation. Those "Lincoln Trail" trail masters can be OH SO UNFORGIVING!

About fourteen years ago, I took the family through the area and managed to recall about 1/4 of it...

Tom, thanks for the memories!
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:19 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
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YOu are welcome.

twenty two miles is a hike!

Tom W
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:20 AM
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It's been awhile since I've been to Springfield. I can't remember much of the Lincoln House. All I remember is that I was amazed that a guy his size could live with such small furniture!

Thanks for posting Tom. It was a fun read.

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