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LC Museum named one of 10 best Lincoln-related sites in Illinois

[JUNE 20, 2002]  The travel magazine Illinois Now! has recently selected the Lincoln College Museum as one of the 10 best Lincoln-related sites in Illinois. Curator Ron Keller said that photos and descriptions of the sites will appear in the fall issue of the magazine.

"We’re pretty excited about it," Keller told Wednesday night’s meeting of Looking for Lincoln. "When you think of how many Lincoln-related sites there are in Illinois, this is really a great honor." He cited the many statues and monuments located in the state.

Two to three months ago representatives of the year-old magazine came to the museum to gather information and take photographs. Keller also talked to an editor about the college and museum and surmises that both events were part of the selection process.


Two weeks ago Illinois Now photo editor Mike Smith called for further information. During the conversation he asked, "Do you know that you have been selected as one of the 10 best Lincoln-related sites in Illinois?" That was how Keller first learned of the honor.

He says he does not know the other nine sites on the list, although there are some obvious choices like the Lincoln home and gravesite. He described Illinois Now as "very comprehensive" in its treatment of topics and noted recent articles on the top 50 summer ideas in Illinois and the best things to do in Chicago.

The Lincoln Group of Illinois, an organization of amateur historians formerly headquartered at Illinois Benedictine College in Lisle, met at Lincoln College on June 15. The LC Museum is the new home base for the group, with at least two meetings a year to be held in Lincoln and nearby communities.


Keller said many school classes toured the LC Museum during May. Attendance for the month was the best since records have been kept.

Also at the Looking for Lincoln meeting, Postville Cluster chair Shirley Bartelmay reported that 551 people, including school groups and a Route 66 tour, visited the Postville Courthouse in May. For approximately a month the site is displaying David Williams’ award-winning Postville Courthouse project. Williams is a student of Steve Schumacher at Zion Lutheran School.


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Bartelmay noted that trees of species commonly planted in Abraham Lincoln’s time are being sought for the courthouse grounds. Trees cost $125 each, and donors’ names are recorded on a plaque.

Bartelmay hopes to find funding for a collection of CDs of dulcimer and other Lincoln-era music and a radio to play them on to provide background music at Postville Courthouse.

Jan Schumacher, president of Main Street Lincoln, said funding for the video of Abraham Lincoln’s activities in Logan County is moving through state channels. It is part of the budget for this fiscal year ending June 30, and she hopes to have the check at the July meeting or soon thereafter. Filming is to take place in the fall.

Signage for sites on the walking tour of Lincoln, another Looking for Lincoln project, is in line to receive Illinois FIRST funds.


Looking for Lincoln chair Paul Beaver said that historic exhibits in the county have improved noticeably in the last few years. He cited the Mount Pulaski history museum, the Atlanta Library, the Stagecoach Inn and Knapp/Chesnut/Becker Library and Museum in Middletown, and the Early Illinois Prairie exhibit being set up in Elkhart.

Beaver said the Lincoln statue in the Logan County Courthouse is a good one from the 1930s. He proposed commissioning a professional photograph to be used for publicity and possibly posters. The courthouse will be 100 years old in 2005, and Schumacher said the centennial would provide an opportunity to showcase such treasures as the statue and the murals on the third floor.

Thressia Usherwood reported that the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County is hosting the Central Illinois Tourism Council on June 20.

[Lynn Shearer Spellman]

Celebrating American Theatre

Lincoln Community Theatre


Hello Dolly

June 14th - June 22
Johnston Center
for the Performing Arts

for ticket information, call 732-2640
click here: http://www.geocities.com/

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Greyhound Lube

At the corner of Woodlawn and Business 55

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Dog Daze of Summer

The Dog Daze of Summer event will be in downtown Lincoln on July 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. A community dog walk starts across from the Blue Dog Inn, at the historic Sangamon Street Park, and ends with contests and demonstrations at the Logan County Courthouse.

Registration, which is $6 in advance and $8 on-site, includes a participation ribbon and entrance into all contests: ugliest dog, best-dressed dog, Abe's choice, smallest dog, largest dog, longest tongue, owner/dog look-alike and best pet trick.

In addition, Logan County Animal Control will be on-site with adoptables.

[News release]

Middletown hosts Smithsonian exhibit

June 23-July 28

[APRIL 27, 2002]  MIDDLETOWN — The Knapp/Chesnut/Becker Historical Society of Middletown is honored to present the Smithsonian exhibits entitled "Yesterday’s Tomorrows" to the public from June 23 through July 28 at the library-museum in Middletown. Co-sponsor of the exhibits is the Illinois Humanities Council.

"Yesterday’s Tomorrows" looks at the future as imagined by people of the 19th and 20th centuries and features ideas such as space robots, moon colonies, automobiles that convert into airplanes and utopian communities.

Comments, questions and volunteers are welcomed as planning proceeds and details of activities are added later.

Share your mementoes

While the Smithsonian exhibits will be housed in the library-museum, local historians and collectors are invited to share their photos, newspaper clippings and diaries in a special showing and exhibit at Middletown Village Hall. Also, Lee Gurga is collecting such items for a manuscript department for the library. His mailing address is 626 1200th St., Middletown, IL 62666.

Meet our ancestors

"Our ancestors" are invited to come be a part of the "big bash" in Middletown by appearing in the parade and by being introduced on Sunday afternoons.

Search attics and cubbyholes for costumes and clues as to the identity of those most important figures on your family tree and join in the fun by portraying your ancestor!

Yesterday’s Tomorrows parade

To celebrate yesteryear and tomorrow, come join the parade on Transportation Sunday, June 23, at 1:30 p.m. All are invited to participate — individuals, duos, groups, clubs. Do register with either Ken Davison at (217) 445-2658 or Dave Deters at (217) 445-2546.

Six special Sundays

June 23: Transportation Sunday

Brunch at Middletown Presbyterian Church, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Yesterday’s Tomorrows parade, 1:30 p.m. with Lindbergh, Cal Rodgers (Jim Lloyd) of Vin Fiz, John Petrehn (Petrehn family), hot-air balloonist and Abe Lincoln (all of whom figure in Middletown’s history).

Opening ceremonies 2:30 p.m., Middletown Park Pavilion. Dr. John Hillwas, speaker. Special music.

June 30: Home and Country Sunday

Lunch at Middletown United Methodist Church, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

K/C/B Ice Cream Social, 2 p.m. Village Voice: Jim Wilhelm. Boy Scouts and NSDAR. Presentation of the 1876 American flag, gift of Margaret Lufkin. Abe and Mary Lincoln. Concert by the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regimental Band.


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July 7: Technology Sunday

Lunch at American Legion and Auxiliary Hall, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Village Voice: Jim Wilhelm.

2 p.m.: Focus on local farmers, with Gus Otto, and computers, by Caterpillar. Dr. Peter Johnson, head of the USDA Ag Research Center in Peoria, reporting progress on Dr. Moses Knapp’s interest in research on deriving sugar from maize (corn) in 1842. Concert and lecture on electro-acoustical music, by Paul Oehlers from the Music Department of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

July 14: Culture Sunday

2 to 4 p.m., Middletown Park Pavilion. Village Voice: Jim Wilhelm. "Visit with a Southern Teacher" (American Revolutionary War). Lee Gurga, editor of Modern Haiku, with children. Jessie Young, "Young in Poetry." Unveiling, dedication and presentation to community of a mural, a replica of Lloyd Ostendorf’s print of Abe Lincoln as surveyor (surveyed through Middletown June 1834). International folk dancers. Prairie Aires in concert. On-site genealogists and food vendors.

July 21: Health Sunday

2 to 4 p.m., Middletown Park Pavilion. Village Voice: Jim Wilhelm. Barbara Mason, curator, Pearson Medical Museum, SIU School of Medicine. "Doctors of Yesteryear": Drs. Guttery, Schall and Means. Presentation to the community and library of two volumes of history of the Thomas Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, Pa., in honor of Dr. Moses L. Knapp, 1826 graduate, considered a founder or co-founder of medical schools in Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana. Dramatic skit: "Sasparilly Capers." Possum Holler Pickers.

July 28: Spiritual Sunday

2 to 4 p.m., Middletown Park Pavilion. Village Voice: Jim Wilhelm. Local missionaries. Special music. Presentation to community and library of walnut lectern and a large-print Bible. Specific details later.

[Provided by Knapp/Chesnut/Becker Historical Society representative W. Golden]

Sites to See

‘Walking on the Path of Abraham Lincoln’

A walking tour of historic Lincoln, Ill.

Note: The following material is from a brochure produced as a high school project by J.R. Glenn and Angie Couch for Main Street Lincoln. The Main Street Lincoln office and local tourist information center is on the second floor of Union Planter’s Bank at 303 S. Kickapoo.

[Click here for larger map]

1. Town christening site

Broadway and Chicago streets

In August 1853 the first sale of lots in the new town of Lincoln took place near this spot. Abraham Lincoln, in whose honor the town was named, was in attendance. When asked on the day of the land sale to officially "christen the town," Lincoln obliged. Lifting the cover off a pile of watermelons stacked on the ground by a local farmer, Lincoln picked up a melon and conducted a brief ceremony using its juice. Lincoln, Ill., is the only town named for Lincoln before he became president.

2. Lincoln railroad depot

101 N. Chicago St.

Abraham Lincoln frequented this city by train after its founding. As president-elect, Lincoln came hereon Nov. 21, 1860. He stopped near this spot to make a few remarks from the rear of his train. This was his last speech in Logan County and the last time Lincoln would visit his namesake city. His funeral train stopped here on May 3, 1865. The current depot was built several decades later, in 1911.

3. State Bank of Lincoln

111 N. Sangamon St.

Abraham Lincoln met sculptor Leonard Volk for the first time on the boardwalk in front of the Lincoln House Hotel. Volk asked Lincoln to pose for a bust and life mask of his face and hands. Signed copies of the life masks by Volk, as well as original artwork by Lloyd Ostendorf of Lincoln in Logan County, are on display in this bank building’s lobby.

4. Site of the Lincoln House Hotel

501 Broadway St.

The Lincoln House, one of the grandest hotels between St. Louis and Chicago, stood on this spot from 1854 to 1870. All the political luminaries of the day, including Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, David Davis and Richard Oglesby, crossed its threshold at one time or another The Lincoln House was a two-story frame structure that fronted the railroad tracks and featured a large veranda.

5. Robert Latham home site

400 N. Kickapoo St.

Robert B. Latham joined John D. Gillett and Virgil Hickox in founding the town of Lincoln in 1853. Abraham Lincoln, other lawyers and judges were often guests at his house.

6. Logan County Courthouse

When Lincoln became the county seat in 1853, a courthouse was built on this spot. A second courthouse was built in 1858 and remained in use until the early 20th century, when it was replaced with the current building. Abraham Lincoln practiced law and attended political functions in the first two courthouses built on the square. A statue of Lincoln stands in this courthouse. A Civil War monument and cannon sit on the north side of the courthouse grounds.

7. Lincoln lot site

523 Pulaski St.

A plaque located on the right-hand side of this store identifies the location as a lot Lincoln once owned. James Primm, in need of money, approached former Illinois Gov. Joel Matteson for a $400 advance. Matteson directed him to have Lincoln sign a note as Primm's guarantor. Lincoln co-signed the note. Later Primm defaulted and Lincoln had to pay the note. Eventually Primm deeded Lincoln this property in recompense.


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8. Rustic Inn

412 Pulaski St.

In 1876 members of a counterfeiting gang met here to hatch a plot to steal Lincoln's corpse from its burial vault in Springfield. The gang had planned to hide Lincoln's body in the Indiana sand dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan and negotiate with the governor of Illinois for $200,000 in cash and the release of Ben Boyd. The bartender at the Rustic Inn overheard the plot and reported it to the authorities. The Secret Service later apprehended the gang members. Robert Todd Lincoln had his father's coffin encased in several tons of cement to prevent future attempts to steal the body.

Other Lincoln sites in Lincoln

9. Stephen A. Douglas speech site

Comer of Fourth and Logan streets

Stephen Douglas visited this city during the famous 1858 Illinois senatorial campaign. Douglas paraded with all his supporters through the decorated streets to the tent that was pitched on this site. Lincoln, who was also in town, listened to his opponent from the back of the crowd. In the end, a majority of Logan County voters favored Lincoln, but Douglas won the 1858 election.

10. Postville Courthouse

914 Fifth St.

This state historic site is a replica of an 1840 courthouse where Lincoln argued, won and lost cases while he traveled the 8th Judicial Circuit.

11. Site of Deskins Tavern

915 Fifth St.

Lincoln often stayed at Deskins Tavern when he traveled to Postville. A well where he quenched his thirst is also at this site.

12. Postville Park

1300 Fifth St.

Abraham Lincoln was well-known for his athletic abilities, and he frequently joined in games of "town ball" at this village park.

13. Lincoln College and Museum

300 Keokuk St.

A nationally registered landmark, Lincoln College was founded and named for President Lincoln on Feb. 12, 1865. The museum houses an extensive collection of memorabilia on the life of Abraham Lincoln.


Other sites of interest in downtown Lincoln 

Lincoln Public Library (a Carnegie building)

725 Pekin St.

Logan County Genealogical
& Historical Society

114 N. Chicago St.

Lincoln City Hall

700 Broadway St.

U.S. Post Office

102 S. McLean St.

Courthouse Square Historic District

including historic sites, restaurants and shops

[Click here for larger map]

Logan County historical landmarks


J. H. Hawes wooden country elevator. Open Sunday afternoons June through August. Free.

Atlanta Public Library and Museum. On National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1908. Comer of Race and Arch. Phone (217) 648-2112. Free.


Monument proclaims the geographic center of the state of Illinois. Town was laid out in 1872.


Elkhart Cemetery. Richard J. Oglesby, who was elected governor of Illinois in 1864, 1872 and 1884, is buried here; also John Dean Gillett, known as the "Cattle King of the World," and Capt. Adam Bogardus, wing shot champion of the world. For tours of the cemetery and John Dean Gillett Chapel, please phone (217) 947-2238.


Bethel Church. Built in 1854. Three miles from Route 136 between Emden and Atlanta on County Road 20.


Site of Deskins Tavern. Across the street from Postville Courthouse, 915 Fifth St. Signage. Free.

Site of well Abraham Lincoln drank from. Across the street from Postville Courthouse, 915 Fifth St. Free.

Site of town christening by Abraham Lincoln on Aug. 27, 1853. Lincoln was the first community in the United States to be named for Abraham Lincoln before he became famous. Also, Lincoln's funeral train stopped here on May 3,1865. Located at the south side of the Lincoln Depot, Broadway and Chicago streets. Official Looking for Lincoln signage. Free.

Logan County Courthouse. Contains second-largest courtroom in Illinois. Built in 1905. Located on the courthouse square, downtown Lincoln. Open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday until noon. Phone (217) 732-6400. Free.

Lincoln College Museum. Over 3,000 historic items. Lincoln College was founded and named for President Lincoln on Feb. 12, 1865. Keokuk and Ottawa streets. Summer hours: 9 to 4 Monday through Friday; 1 to 4 Saturday and Sunday; closed May 28 and July 4. Free.

Heritage In Flight Museum. Museum is filled with memorabilia from all U.S. military conflicts back to World War I. Located at the Logan County Airport. Phone ahead (217) 732-3333 to confirm hours. Free but donations accepted.

Lincoln Public Library. Original Carnegie library built in 1902. Tiffany-style glass inner dome. 725 Pekin St. Open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 to 6; Saturday, 9 to 3. Phone (217) 732-8878. Free.

Postville Courthouse State Historic Site. Guided tours. 914 Fifth St. Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Ph. (217) 732-8930 for additional information. Free but donations accepted.


Stage Coach Inn. The inn was on the old stage route from Springfield to Peoria. Built mid 1800s. Village is also famous for its aeronautical history. Free.

Mount Pulaski

Mount Pulaski Courthouse. This building is one of only two original 8th Judicial Circuit courthouses in Illinois. On National Register of Historic Places. Was Logan County Courthouse from 1847 to 1855. Guided tours. Open 12 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday. Phone (217) 732-8930. Free.

[Link to historical information on communities in Logan County]

Heritage In Flight Museum open on weekends

A little-known historical site full of large and small treasures sits on the outskirts of town on the Logan County Airport property. The Heritage In Flight Museum building itself is a part of history. It is a remnant of Camp Ellis, located west of Havana, which was the largest military training and prisoner-of-war camp in the United States during World War II. After the war the camp was closed and the buildings were sold. Logan County Airport is fortunate to have one of the few remaining structures from Camp Ellis.

A little-known historical site full of large and small treasures sits on the outskirts of town on the Logan County Airport property. The Heritage In Flight Museum building itself is a part of history. It is a remnant of Camp Ellis, located west of Havana, which was the largest military training and prisoner-of-war camp in the United States during World War II. After the war the camp was closed and the buildings were sold. Logan County Airport is fortunate to have one of the few remaining structures from Camp Ellis.

Several historic items are found outside at the airport, including the rotating beacon, the green-and-white light that identifies the airport location to pilots flying at night. Before being moved to Logan County Airport, it was part of the lighted airway system that the airmail pilots in the 1920s used to navigate at night. The one that now resides here was originally located between Lincoln and Atlanta and provided a bright signal for Charles Lindbergh when he flew the airmail route between St. Louis and Chicago.

While outside you can also view a number of aircraft that are on display from various time periods.

Moving to the inside, you find that the Heritage in Flight Museum is filled with items of aviation history from the military and civilian branches of flying and from the earliest days of open-cockpit biplanes to the latest jets. Veterans who reside in Logan County have donated much of what the museum has. Families from the community have donated items that belonged to our war heroes, revealing special sentiments, symbolism and forgotten practices that held a community together in war times. Other items offer a look at early technology such as the airplane and ship radios. Of the thousands of items in the museum, each can be said to teach us something about our past. Visitors can relive history through the numerous displays, mostly grouped in wartime periods, and gain a strong sense of patriotism while studying military displays throughout the building.


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A guided tour is recommended to get the most from these displays. The volunteers are both knowledgeable and passionate about their subject matter and will bring to light little-known nuances that make the displays fascinating.

The museum is always interested in adding items of aviation history. Its greatest need, however, is for more volunteers to help in the guardianship of this important gateway to Lincoln and Logan County.

The museum requires lots of care and maintenance. Members are always looking for interested people of all ages to help care for it, share their interests and preserve a bit of aviation history.

Heritage In Flight Museum is operated by an all-volunteer, non-profit organization: Heritage-In-Flight, Inc. You are invited to come meet the members and sit in on their meetings anytime. Meetings take place at 1 p.m. the first Saturday of each month in the terminal meeting room.

The museum is a great resource to educate our youth about our aeronautical and military past and shares the wealth of military traditions from a community and national perspective. Schools, youth groups and families are welcome.

Heritage in Flight Museum

1351 Airport Road, Lincoln

Open Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Phone: (217) 732-3333

Call the airport and leave a message to request a guided tour, schedule a time during the week or ask for more information.


You can read more about HIF from the archives of LDN. Go to: http://archives.lincolndailynews.com/2001/Feb/15/comunity/business.shtml#Logan County is host to a unique museum rich in special military stories and treasures



  • Lincoln Park District, 732-8770



Blue Dog Inn
111 S. Sangamon
Monday 11-2
Tuesday-Thursday 11-10
Friday & Saturday 11-11

2815 Woodlawn Road




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