Day 31 – Wednesday 31 May 2017 – Springfield IL – Pontiac

Distance travelled 124 miles.  Time on the road 8 hours.

Today’s Blog will be in two parts.  As our first stop this morning, we visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.  Not only is Springfield the State Capital,  despite its relatively small size, but it is Lincoln’s birthplace.  Not visiting the Museum would be a bit like visiting London but not bothering to go to Buckingham Palace.

The old Union Station across the road from the Presidential Museum.  The Station is also a Museum:

Springfield is a city of “One Way” roads and getting to the parking garage near the Museum was a bit of a nightmare.  First, I turned into a one way road, the wrong way, which must have caused the oncoming drivers a bit of consternation, then when Pauline said “over there” I couldn’t get across the 4 busy lanes of traffic to the car park entrance without going round the block.  It usually takes more than 10 yards distance to change so many lanes…

The Museum was outstanding:

Pauline outside an exact replica of the one room wooden house that Lincoln was raised in.

With his wife, Mary.

Lincoln’s wife, Mary:

From what we saw, politics in Lincoln’s day was pretty much the same as today.  Mary was regarded as entirely unsuitable to be the First Lady by the Washington political glitterati’s wives, and these dresses were worn by the wives and daughters of those politicians who aspired to be President themselves.  Their aim was to put Mary in the shade at every opportunity.  The President and Mary had four children, three of whom died as children, and her surviving son had her involuntarily institutionalised for “psychiatric disease” ten years after her husband’s murder.  Considering what she had been through, I suspect a modern approach to what ailed her would have been a bit more sympathetic.

Lincoln reading his draft Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet which set a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recast the Civil War as a fight against slavery, instead of a war to restore the Union.

Lincoln’s assassination:

As may be imagined, we took a lot of photographs in the Museum but we had to get back on the road.  We were aiming for Shea’s Petrolina Museum, but missed it in the heavy traffic, but stopped at this Phillips 66 one a few hundred yards away.

A Coke for 10 Cents!

Just down the road from the gas station was the entrance to the Illinois State Fair Ground and, inside the gate is the famous Log Splitter statue of Lincoln as a young man:

We went looking for Lincoln’s Covered Wagon but it was not where it was supposed to be!  More about that later.

The 1929 Mill Restaurant in Lincoln.  It has been refurbished and is now a very nice Museum. The elderly gentleman volunteer inside told us that there are documented instances of The Mill being visited by Al Capone when it was operating as a dance hall in the 1930’s.

Apparently, the original owner built in all sorts of quirky things, including this leg that dangles through the ceiling.  It moves!

The Springfield Covered Wagon is now in Lincoln!  Abe is 12 feet tall, and the Wagon is 24 feet.

Still in Lincoln.  The historic Postville Court House – it’s a replica built in the 50’s!  Abraham Lincoln used the original when he was a circuit lawyer.

Atlanta.  A small town that is making the most of its Route 66 heritage:

We had a late lunch in the 1934 Palm’s Grill:

Across the road is a very tranquil little park specifically for Route 66 travellers to relax in:


Atlanta also has one of the three Illinois Route 66 Giants, the 19 feet tall Bunyon Giant. Yesterday we saw the Lauterbach Giant, and tomorrow we hope to see the Gemini Giant.

The Dixie Truckers Home.  The original US Truck Stop established in 1928 on the corner of Route 66 and Route 136:

Shirley.  Funk Grove Pure Maple Sirup!  That is how they spell it.

This photo does not do the sign justice.  It is actually red – the only red one we have seen.

Stock Cars / Hot Rods we passed:

A roadside marker in Lexington to commemorate Route 66:

The Lexington Arrow.  Another tick for the list:

Pontiac.  We were pretty tired by the time we got to Pontiac, so we will pick up some more of the sights tomorrow:

More red brick road:

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