Vandalia

The capital city of Illinois from 1820-1839, Vandalia was the place where a young Abraham Lincoln officially began he political career as an elected state legislator from the village of New Salem in 1834. Mr. Lincoln would play an important role of the controversial effort to move the state capital to the city of Springfield. In a failed attempt to keep the state capital in Vandalia, the community’s citizens built a lovely Federal style building that would house all three branches of Illinois state government in one building for the first time in the state’s history. Today, the Vandalia Statehouse stands as an elegant reminder of Illinois’ early history as a new state.

A lovely urban pocket park across the street featuring a statue of the young legislator who would become president is the perfect spot for a photo with the Vandalia Statehouse as a backdrop. Nearby is the Fayette County Museum, featuring Lincoln-era memorabilia and the story of the people of Vandalia and Fayette County.

For more information:

Vandalia Chamber of Commerce
618-283-2728
http://vandaliaillinois.com/

Location

Legend

Nearby Sites

Vandalia State House State Historic Site
315 W. Gallatin St. Vandalia, Illinois 62471

Friends of Lincoln Good for Kids Historic Site Top Destination

The Vandalia State House, the fourth Illinois statehouse, served as the capitol from 1836 until 1839 and is the oldest surviving capitol building in the state.  The Vandalia State House is significant for its association with Abraham Lincoln, who served in the House of Representatives. In 1974 the State House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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National Road Interpretive Center
106 S 5th St. Vandalia, Illinois 62471

Good for Kids Museum Visitor Information

Also known as the "Road That Built the Nation", the Historic National Road was created in 1806 by legislation signed by President Thomas Jefferson. Sometimes called "The Cumberland Road" and "The Old Pike", it was the only road completely built with federal funds.

Originally winding from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois, the National Road opened Illinois to settlement. Today, the Illinois National Road stretches 164 miles from Marshall to East St. Louis and is mirrored by U.S. Route 40 and Interstate 70. Visitors can see where Lincoln’s political career began, marvel at a giant catsup bottle, and enjoy the food, festivals, and fun that make the Historic National Road a relaxed journey through Americana.

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Ebenezer Capps Store
315 W. Gallatin St. Vandalia, Illinois 62471

Wayside Exhibit

Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits tell the stories of Lincoln’s life and times in Illinois.  Each wayside exhibit tells a unique Lincoln story and a local story.  Many of the waysides share little known stories about Lincoln and the individuals he interacted with.  There are over 260 Looking for Lincoln waysides in the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.    

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First Elective Office
125 S. 4th St Vandalia, Illinois 62471

Wayside Exhibit

Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits tell the stories of Lincoln’s life and times in Illinois.  Each wayside exhibit tells a unique Lincoln story and a local story.  Many of the waysides share little known stories about Lincoln and the individuals he interacted with.  There are over 260 Looking for Lincoln waysides in the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.    

Explore this site.

First Protest Against Slavery
315 W. Gallatin St. Vandalia, Illinois 62471

Wayside Exhibit

Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits tell the stories of Lincoln’s life and times in Illinois.  Each wayside exhibit tells a unique Lincoln story and a local story.  Many of the waysides share little known stories about Lincoln and the individuals he interacted with.  There are over 260 Looking for Lincoln waysides in the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.    

Explore this site.

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