Monday, May 5, 2014

Oh, my aching feet!

Springfield, Illinois
#B-14  Back IN

What a busy day!  We're exhausted and our feet hurt.  The day started out with us taking a short ride around the area.  
I wanted to check out the Shea Gas Station.  It was a big disappointment and closed so I just took a picture outside the fence.  

The Lincoln Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery was about a half mile away and we weren't expecting Joe and Alice Knox until the afternoon.  Oak Ridge Cemetery is the second most visited cemetery in the United States.  

This building which was built in 1895 was the Custodian's Residence.  This residence was used for 75 years by those in charge of the tomb and grounds.   

This photo was taken as Bill drove into the cemetery.  You can get an idea of the massive size.
 It was surrounded by bronzes depicting the history of Lincoln. 

When you enter the tomb all the walls are beautiful marble.  I didn't get a photo because once again there were buses of school children and the room was crowded with the kids.  
President Lincoln's remain are 10 feet below the marble monument.  Mary Lincoln and three of the four sons are in crypts opposite the monument.  Robert Lincoln is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  

Bill and I walked the steps down the hill to the receiving vault.  This is where his remains were first kept. I think they added more steps when we climbed back up.

A very short distance away we found the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.  When we walked into the visitor center, Bill pulled out his geezer card.  The lady smiled and said he didn't need it here.  

Lincoln's only surviving son, Robert, become the sole owner of the home.  He rented it out for a while until 1887, when he sold the home to the State of Illinois for a dollar, with the stipulation that there would be no charge to visit it.  In 1972 it was donated to the United States of America and became the only national historic site in Illinois.  
The house was originally a one story and until they "raised the roof" and added the second floor.  The Lincoln's moved in May 1844 and paid $1,500 for the house. 
This was the parlor and the boys were forbidden to play in it.

This was the desk where Lincoln wrote his famous speech.  He threw the desk away and a neighbor retrieved it saying it would be famous some day.  

Our tour guide was wonderful and we had one other couple and a nice couple with 4 small well behaved kids and one on the way in our group.  There was another bus of kids that went in before us and another waiting for their tour.  Our timing was good.  

This isn't just the home of Lincoln, this site has 4 square blocks  of old homes.  I was amazed that there were very wealthy people right next door to very common people.

Just a few blocks away is the Old State Capital building.  We decided to visit it since we were that close.  
We put all the coins we had into the parking meter.   
As we entered the Old Capital building a tour guide said they just had 90 school children ahead of us and we could do a self guided tour or join the group.  We decided we'd like to do the self-guided.  

I really wanted to visit the Lincoln Herndon Law Office but when we walked over to it, there were school kids everywhere.  We figured we had enough time on the parking meter to walk down to the Lincoln Depot instead.  After all the stairs we've been climbing, my feet were getting tired.  

The Great Western Depot was built in 1852 and the gentlemen's waiting room was on the left and the ladies on the right.  It was known by the Lincoln Depot, as it was the site where Lincoln boarded the train in 1861 for Washington, DC and gave his farewell address.

This safe, which weighed 5,000 pounds used to be on the second floor.

Okay, we're really tired now and we have to walk all the way back to the truck.  As we walked pass the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices a tour was just starting with a bus lot of school children.  The tour guide invited us to join them and I have to say the kids were very well behaved and interested in the speaker.  We were even introduced to the kids.   
This office was the oldest original building in Springfield.  Up another three floors of stairs, but it was worth it.  
I was surprised by some of the intelligent questions the kids asked.  
Lincoln was unsuccessful in many occupations including a postal clerk until he became a lawyer, without a formal education.  His legal education was acquired as an apprentice under an established lawyer.  In order to become a lawyer he had to pass an oral test and have a letter of recommendation of character.   
When we left the law office, this group of school kids were waiting for a tour.  

One good thing about Springfield was that it was a flat walk to the truck.  I'm not sure my feet could have taken any more steps or hills.  

When we returned to the Illinois State Fair Grounds, Joe and Alice had just pulled in.  
We discovered that the other side of the lot had sewer hook-ups with a handicap parking sign.  One couple told us they were told that anybody could park there.  Oh well, we'll use the dump station when we leave.  Did I mention the rate is $20 for old geezers.

We hadn't taken a break to stop for lunch and we were hungry so didn't spend much time visiting.   

After dinner Joe and Alice came over and we walked around a small portion of the very large beautiful fairground.  

Our plans are to play tourist again tomorrow.  I think I'll go soak my feet in the bathtub.  

One amazing thing was the fact that the only money spent today was for our parking and donations.  

Turtle Safely........


  1. So glad you're enjoying this wonderful city. We thoroughly enjoyed it last year. Yes, there's a lot of walking, but you're up to it! Have a great day tomorrow.

  2. You guys got some great pictures. I love all the history and Lincoln was such an amazing man. Well worth the sore feet.

  3. Say howdy to Joe & Alice. We have twin RVs and see each other at various rallies.
    Enjoyed your write-up. We haven't stopped there yet.


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