Inside the Abraham Lincoln Tomb in Springfield, Illinois you walk around the circular tunnel until you reach the burial chamber itself. There, the beautiful granite or marble structure awaits you. This however is not the casket. That is buried 11 feet down under the floor under 11 feet of solid poured concrete. This is because of the attempted theft of Lincoln’s body in the 1870’s that was unsuccessful. Behind us on a wall, there is the burial site of Mrs Lincoln and three of her four boys. The last boy was disinterred by his wife because she had always had a dispute with Mrs Lincoln.
So after seeing the Lincoln Tomb from the outside, we all want to see the inside. The Tomb is in Springfield, Illinois on the North side of town. As you enter you see a large bronze sculpture of Abraham Lincoln sitting much like he is in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. This is not where he is buried, but a pre-chamber.
There is much to see in Springfield, Illinois dealing with President Abraham Lincoln. His tomb is located just North of town and is very impressive from the outside. He was re-interred eleven times and the tomb structure was rebuilt at least three times. In 1876 thieves tried to steal Lincoln’s remains for ransom but were caught. They reburied his remains down 11 feet deep and poured in concrete and capped it off with a many ton granite stone.
Right in the middle of downtown Springfield, Illinois there is a giant park with a bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln and a huge grand central train station. This station was restored and rebuilt recently but is no longer an active train station having the tracks removed and streets paved over in front if it. It now houses a giant exhibit from the Spielberg movie “Lincoln” which you can tour.
So we are continuing our tour of New Salem, Illinois. Here Abraham Lincoln first arrived in Illinois around 1830 and lived and worked in this village until 1837. The many log buildings had been moved away by the town, but were recently brought back and reconstructed back on their original foundations. This large building was a story and a half stone barn that was converted into a gift shop. It was lovely inside with a lot of natural light from the windows.
At New Salem, Illinois just West of Springfield they had over 30 original log cabin structures. Some of the cabins you could go into or peek in the door or window. Many cabins that were used for living in, were painted white inside. This must of been to improve the light and perhaps the cleanliness.
Just 20 miles outside of Springfield, Illinois is the tiny old town of New Salem where Abraham Lincoln lived from 1830-1837. He floated in on a boat down the river and was offered a job in a store there. It is here he first ran for political office and failed, but he kept at it. He worked as a postmaster, surveyor and enlisted in the militia for the Black Hawk Indian War, which was required. He was voted by his men to lead them overwhelmingly.
These log cabins (30+ of them) were original to the site and are now a State Historical site. Earlier, the citizens of New Salem decided to move the town and all the cabins and buildings were relocated to another town. Recently, the entire town was moved back to its original site by the State on the original foundations.
For more history see: New Salem