Thomas and Sara Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's father and stepmother, were among the early settlers in the Charleston area. Today, you can experience what life was like for the Lincolns on a visit to the nearby Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site on the Goosenest Prairie in Lerna. Later in his career, Abraham often visited the area, both for business and pleasure. He tried many cases here and in 1858, Charleston was the scene of the fourth Lincoln Douglas Debate – witnessed by a crowd of over 12,000 people. Charleston was the last trip from Springfield he made before assuming his place as our 16th president. Lincoln's affection for the humble folk of the Goosenest Prairie remained strong throughout his life.

For more information:

Charleston Tourism Office
520 Jackson Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920



Nearby Sites

Thomas Lincoln's Grave
12988 E. Lincoln Hwy Rd. Lerna, Illinois 62440

Friends of Lincoln Wayside Exhibit

vLooking 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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