I can remember quite vividly the days of my younger years listening attentively as my elementary school teacher discussed the Civil War, slavery, governmental policies and all the major key players of the time. My mind drifted off to a period of the past where I would imagine myself present in the numerous cabinet meetings, on the front lines of war, as a young slave girl seeking freedom, and on Lincoln’s side as he spoke to the public in one of his famous addresses. Well that was a long time ago and as the nostalgia begins to kick in I am exultant to share that I was brought back to my energized time of fact finding and captivating visions on a recent trip to Springfield Illinois.
My trip began at one of the well visited locations in Downtown Springfield where one can discover a wealth of information on one of America’s most memorable presidents and noble statesmen. While browsing through the halls of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum with the assistance of my awesome and well informed tour guide Roger, I couldn’t help but notice the attention to detail and the passion behind telling the entire story of Honest Abe, unfiltered. From Lincolns childhood and struggle brought to life in a century specific replica log cabin to his journey to the White House, there seemed to be no detail left out or no story too unimportant to share.
I noticed how the guests at the museum ranged from all ages and backgrounds. Young energetic children kept themselves entertained while preparing mock meals and dressing up in period costumes in Mrs. Lincoln’s Attic. The teenagers I saw seemed to appreciate the special effects and dramatized production witnessed in both Lincoln’s Eyes and Ghosts of the Library presentations touching on the Civil War itself through Lincoln’s involvement and why history is so important to preserve. There were also a ton of adult patrons who seemed enamored by the War Gallery which displayed war uniforms, true to life figures, an interactive wall of photos where one could learn about the images displayed through text and audio. There was even a very touching and moving 3 minute speedy reenactment of the lives lost and land gained during the civil war.
Before heading out to take on the rest of Springfield I had to visit the Museum Gift Center where I scored a neat pair of penny replica earrings adorned with Lincoln’s face and a large coffee mug with the Museum’s logo scripted across the front. As I bid the friendly staff adieu I couldn’t help but reflect on the life and times of a man that through his determination and vision was able to make changes during a time where reform was not welcomed. I truly enjoyed my time visiting the numerous exhibits and I must note there wasn’t a dull moment. I was sure to soak up every bit of information offered and relished in being brought back to the story of Abe Lincoln taught to me many years ago but this time brought to life with such detail, personalization, and truth.
Stay tuned to see the many places my visit to Springfield took me…much to share!
MeechyMonroe, born and raised on Chicago’s Southside, is a lifestyle blogger at meechymonroe.com.