Urbana was part of the 8th Judicial circuit from 1841 on, and Lincoln practiced law with and against some of Urbana and Champaign’s (then West Urbana) finest citizens. It was here that Lincoln represented the largest corporation of the day, Illinois Central Railroad, and here that he defended the first person accused of murder in the county (and lost). Lincoln was indeed a “Large Presence in Small Town” as a not-to-be-missed exhibit in the county courthouse attests.
Champaign-Urbana's love for community runs deep, and they can’t wait to welcome visitors to their 'Outside of Ordinary' experiences. Great Lincoln history abounds in our cities and surrounding county with waysides and museums to prove it! Don’t forget that the area is home to the University of Illinois, one of the premier state colleges in the nation, providing extra vitality and depth. Theatres, boutique shopping, nightlife, fine dining and unparalleled attractions provide for an outstanding and ‘Outside of Ordinary’ experience.
Where exactly is Champaign County? It’s at the heart of the state, in East Central Illinois, nearly equidistant to Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis. With three interstates intersecting in Champaign–Urbana, an Amtrak station and Willard Airport, getting here to the area is easy for everyone.
Check out their blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for inspiration, and share your #OutsideOfOrdinary experiences with them!
For more information:
Visit Champaign County
17 E. Taylor Street
Champaign, IL 61820
- 8th Judicial Circuit
- Friends of Lincoln
- Good for Kids
- Guided/Self-Guided Tours
- Historic House
- Historic Site
- Lincoln-Douglas Debate
- Passport Site
- Route 66
- Top Destination
- Underground Railroad
- Visitor Information
- Wayside Exhibit
Visit Champaign County
17 E. Taylor St. Champaign, Illinois 61820
Our love for our community runs deep, and we can't wait to welcome visitors for our Outside of Ordinary experiences that are currently operating safely. The greater Champaign County area is a destination because of our Midwest Hospitality, so now is the time to support those individuals who live and work here in our hotels, restaurants, shops, parks, museums, and more.
Museum of the Grand Prairie
950 North Lombard Mahomet, Illinois 61853
Situated in beautiful Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, the Museum of the Grand Prairie collects, preserves, and interprets the natural and cultural history of Champaign County and East Central Illinois. The museum offers four permanent exhibits: The Grand Prairie Story, Blacksmithing on the Prairie, Champaign County’s Lincoln and an all hands-on Discovering Home. An additional outdoor exhibit, Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat, can be found in the inviting Botanical Garden just to the south of the museum. And just as the seasons change in the surrounding natural setting, each year the museum has special exhibits, so be sure to check their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube for updates.
In Champaign County’s Lincoln the visitor enters the county as Lincoln did, in a virtual buggy ride. One can visit the photographer’s studio where Lincoln had his likeness made or the Goose Pond Church where he spoke! Visitors can even chat up B.F. Harris, Lincoln’s Mahomet friend. This exhibit is an immersive and informative experience! Join us!
Champaign County History Museum
102 East University Avenue Champaign, Illinois 61820
The Champaign County History Museum is a 501(c)(3) organization and exists to “collect and preserve artifacts relating to the history of Champaign County, Illinois, and, by using those artifacts in formal and informal educational activities, to interpret that history to the public.” The Museum was founded in 1972 and opened for exhibition in 1974. The Museum’s original home was the Wilber Mansion located at 907 West University Avenue. The Wilber Mansion was sold in 1997 with proceeds being used to acquire the Museum’s current home at 102 East University Avenue. The current building, named the Cattle Bank, is Champaign County’s oldest documented commercial structure, having been constructed in 1857.
Our museum is a great jumping-off point for exploring our county. Hours: Monday & Tuesday - Closed, Wednesday-Friday & Sunday - 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Saturday - 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
1408 W. Gregory Drive Urbana, Illinois 61801
The Illinois History and Lincoln Collections (IHLC) preserves and provides access to both print and manuscript materials documenting the history of Illinois as well as Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy. Approximately 35,000 printed volumes and 1,000 manuscript collections as well as numerous maps, photographs, ephemera, and other materials provide rich resources for researchers in a many fields.
702 S. Wrights St. Urbana, Illinois 61801
The University of Illinois holds many treasures, chief among them in Lincoln Hall, a classroom building dedicated to Abraham Lincoln and commissioned in 1909, as a centennial remembrance. The impressive terracotta friezes, which ring the building, tell the story of Lincoln’s life and were created for the American Terra Cotta Company by Kristian Schneider. Inside the hall, an entrance fit for a president enshrines a famed Lincoln bust by Herman Atkins McNeil, and a plaque bearing the Gettysburg Address.