Sunday, February 28, 2016

How Much Can You Pack into a Day in Springfield, Illinois?

Our last "Prep-Day", we spent in Springfield, Illinois seeing many Lincoln sites. It was a day full of touring interesting places, eating great food, and touring an amazing home built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1903!  So here comes our full day! The church with the red door was built on the site of the church that Mary Todd Lincoln attended when in Springfield. We were lucky enough to be able to get a "tour" even though they usually don't start until June. We really wanted to see the Tiffany windows that are original to this red-door-church and the actual Lincoln family pew that is on display. 

The Tiffany windows had been commissioned by various members of the church for their loved departed loved ones. Tiffany art was just becoming known and so these windows would not have cost the fortune they would today. 

The window above the beautiful organ was stunning but the sun was "in the way" of a good picture. 

The Lincoln family pew - still in pretty good shape. 

After the church tour, we went to Lincoln's home. The name on the door says it all! 

It was a lovely home and much larger inside than it looks. 

The home is decorated with period pieces and using a working knowledge of the Lincoln family. For example, they knew Mary liked the color green so they made the curtains green.  Wallpaper was the style then and the "carpet" on the floor is more like a large blanket-type fabric.  

This is their dining room. The tea set on the table looks alot like the Chelsea Lusterware of the 1790's that we have on display in Lucy Mack Smith's home in Nauvoo.

That is the original door and hand-rail that Mr. Lincoln would have walked through every day for about 17 years. The hand rail is the only thing you are allowed to touch in order to preserve the artifacts. 

This bright wallpaper is the exact design the Lincolns had in their home. The one in the home today was made in Paris. 

This was Abraham Lincoln's desk. 

Mary slept in this room and the 2 younger children would have slept on a trundle stored under her bed. 

Mary had come from a home where she did not do any of the cooking or cleaning. When she had a home of her own, she found that she enjoyed doing both! 

When Lincoln was at home, he loved to be with his children. He and Mary believed in letting their children do anything they wanted. When the boys visited Lincoln's law office in Springfield, his partner said they would ransack the office and Lincoln was oblivious to it all. I guess at one time, the boys let a goat into the White House and Lincoln simply said, "Boys will be boys." 

 After the Lincoln home, we started walking to the State Capitol Building. On the way, we snapped a picture of this nice looking building.

We finally reached our main objective and went inside. We were impressed with the architecture and, once inside, the intricate design of the dome.

We were on a self-guided tour, so this is Bryce "presenting his case" infront of the Supreme Court. This room looks ordinary from this angle, but the next picture shows that the ceiling and woodwork really looks like. It was jaw-dropping because we hadn't expected to see such grandeur. 

Then we were completely shocked when we walked into the Senate. Wow!!! Illinois tax dollars at work!

I wonder how many times a day someone looks up at "honest Abe" when things are in session?

After the State Capitol we started walking to the Old State Capitol and happened upon Cafe Moxo - and are we glad we did. Homemade everything - and the best chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles we've ever tasted. The sandwich on the left which Bryce ordered was a little too unique for him. He thought it was pulled pork grilled cheese sandwich but instead it was pulled pork and macaroni and cheese grilled cheese. Yup, macaroni and cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich with pulled pork. He was very disappointed.

But, the red velvet cake made the "mac and cheese mistake" all better. Yum!

This is the Old State Capitol. It is quite a grand building. 

I'm not sure if the pillars looked like this origianlly but when the renovation of the building took place within the last 20 years, the whole thing was dismantled and reassembled. Quite an undertaking. 

The various rooms were staged to looked like people (of the 1850's) had just left for lunch. 

This is the law library where Lincoln would have signed out books and practiced his speeches to his collegues.  The picture below shows those who signed out books. The top right signature says S.T. Logan but is acutally Lincoln's handwriting. He was unable to check books out but his law partner Logan had authority to do so.  That's a bit curious, don't you think?

This is a small three-sided drawer that fits into the wall of drawers shown below. These draws held stacks of legal papers and policies. They were tied together with a red ribbon or tape - which led to the saying about all the "red tape" of government and the like. 

This is the Supreme Court of the 1840's. Joseph Smith actually was in this court room and the judge hearing his case was Steven Doulgas. 

This beautiflly costumed woman is "Mrs. Jenkins" whose was a neighbor to the Lincoln's and whose husband, if I remember correctly, was the driver of Linclon's hearse to the cemetery following the return of his body to Springfield. 

This is the waiting room to the Govenor's office and they have used an old drawing to recreate the exact furnishings. Quite facinating. The drawing is below. 

This furiture was in the funeral train car that brought Lincoln's body back to Springfield for burial.  His body lay in state for many to come and pay their last respects in the room shown below. 

Everything in this room, except this very Washington picture, was removed for the viewing.

It was a very nice room, but not as large in person as this picture shows. 

This is just to show that we were both there!

Various Lincoln statues are all around the city. Quite well done. 

One of the highlights was the tour of the Susan Chase Home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. You were not allowed to take pictures inside, so you'll just have to imagine what 400-plus windows and door panes in this home look like from the inside with the light shining throught them. Take my word for it, it was beyond breathtaking. 

You can see the design in the windows here, but the colors don't show up. Every window and interior door had this kind of glass. 

The home was 13,000 square feet complete with a bowling alley in the basement!  After this tour, we had 20 minutes to get over to the Lincoln Memorial before it closed. 

It might not look like much here, but it really is an impressive monument. We went inside that door in the front to his tomb.

Tradition says you rub Lincoln's nose for good luck. 

And who are we to argue with tradition!

At the end of the day, we were very weary of walking. On our drive back to Nauvoo, we stopped for a bite to eat and also happened upon the Pease/Dunn chocolate shop which had been there since 1840's. Obviously, it's had some renovations over the years. But it sure was fun too see all the goodies! We broke down and bougth some carmel corn for the drive home. 

They even had free samples!

Well, that's the end of this lengthy narration of our day in Springfield, Illinois. Almost took as long to type it up as it did to experience it!!! Hope you enjoyed it!

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