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- Wayside Exhibit
116 N. Gilbert St. Danville, Illinois 61832
Housed in a home owned by Dr. William Fithian, Civil War surgeon and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, the Fithian Home features the south balcony from which Lincoln gave a speech in 1858 and the bedroom he used on his many visits. Each remain as they were during Lincoln’s time there. The Joseph G. Cannon (Uncle Joe) room contains personal items of Cannon’s who served in the U.S. House for 46 years and was Speaker from 1903 to 1911.
Listed on National Register of Historic Places.
Governor Duncan Mansion
4 Duncan Place Jacksonville, Illinois 62650
Governor Joseph Duncan, who served as governor of Illinois from 1834 to 1838, had this two-and one-half-story house constructed between 1833 and 1835.
The home served as the official executive mansion for the state of Illinois from 1834-38. It was used for State business during the term of Governor Joseph Duncan from 1834-1838. The early capitals, Kaskaskia and Vandalia, had no “Governor’s Mansion”. This three-story, 17-room mansion was built in 1834. The mansion is owned and operated by the Rev. James Caldwell Chapter NSDAR. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and houses many of the original Duncan family furnishings.
Tradition says that Lincoln visited the Duncan home, and it is quite possible that happened, given the fact that Lincoln lived in nearby New Salem and Springfield during the time both men were members of the Whig Party. Lincoln served his first two terms as a state representative while Duncan was governor. In addition, voting records show that Lincoln cast ballots for Duncan three times.
Governor John Wood Mansion
425 S 12th St Quincy, Illinois 62301
Once the home of John Wood, Quincy's founder and Illinois' 12th Governor, the John Wood Mansion is one of the Midwest's finest examples of Greek Revival architecture.
Wood’s 14-room mansion was built in 1835 and features many ornate details inside and out as well as four large Doric columns turned by Wood himself at a lathe he built for that purpose. The Wood family moved into their third Quincy home from a nearby, two-story log cabin in 1837. Later, the mansion was moved from its original site to its current location, about a block east, so Wood could build an even larger, octagonal mansion that was demolished in the 1950s.
The Society acquired the mansion in 1906 in order to save it from demolition, renovate, and preserve it. Many original Wood family and period furnishings are displayed throughout the house.
This historically significant home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and in 2007 was named one of Illinois' 150 most important architectural structures. In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, the John Wood Mansion was selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places by the American Institute of Architects Illinois.
Governor Richard J. Oglesby Mansion
421 W. William St. Decatur, Illinois 62523
Richard J. Oglesby is recognized as one of Decatur’s most distinguished citizens. He served his country well as a U.S. Senator, a Union General in the Civil War, a three-term governor of Illinois, and a close friend and colleague of Abraham Lincoln.
The Mansion was built in 1875-76 after his second marriage. The original plans for Oglesby Mansion were by William LeBaron Jenney, a Chicago architect who was best known for designing the first modern skyscraper. The Oglesbys modified the plans a great deal and hired a local contractor to build the house for them. Two of their four children were born while they lived in the house. In 1882 they moved to Lincoln Illinois and then to Elkhart where they built a much larger house on Elkhart Hill.
Homestead Prairie Farm
Rock Springs Conservation Area 3939 Nearing Lane Decatur, Illinois 62521
Walk into the past to an exciting place where the days before the Civil War live on. Homestead Prairie Farm is built around the Trobaugh-Good House located at Rock Springs Conservation Area. Now restored, you can explore rural life on the Grand Prairie of Illinois in 1860. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Historic Lincoln Park 1031 N. Logan Ave. Danville, Illinois 61832
An 1840s Greek Revival cottage built by Joseph and Melissa Beckwith Lamon. The house is named in honor of Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s law partner and body- guard, and cousin of Joseph Lamon. It is situated in historic Lincoln Park.
100 W. Lafayette St. Ottawa, Illinois 61350
Built before the Civil War, this ornate 50-foot-tall Italianate mansion was constructed by William Reddick, a leading philanthropist, businessman, LaSalle County Sheriff, and Illinois State Senator. Standing on the corner of Columbus and Lafayette streets in Ottawa, Illinois, the magnificent structure anchors the Washington Square national Historic District and remains as a tribute to the architecture, times, and people of a bygone era.
Commissioned in 1855 and completed in 1858 in time to witness the first Lincoln-Douglas Debate across the street in Washington Square, the splendid mansion was the home of the Reddick family for nearly 30 years. The twenty-two-room building was designed by two prominent mid-western architects: William B. Olmsted and Peter A. Nicholson.
401 W. Livingston St. Pontiac, Illinois 61764
Among the many connections Pontiac has to Abraham Lincoln, one of the most interesting revolves around Lincoln's friendship with local attorney, Jason W. Strevell.
Strevell was born in New York and migrated to Illinois in 1855. He was admitted to the Illinois bar that same year, and began his practice in Pontiac. He was involved in his legal practice here for 24 years.
Strevell served as a Republican in the Illinois House of Representatives, and also had one term as a Senator. He was a member of the electoral college that elected Hayes to the presidency, and was actively concerned in the first presidential election of William McKinley.
William Street & Broadway Street Alton, IL 62002
In just three years, more than 11,700 Confederate prisoners passed through the gates of the Alton Prison and were held captive with its walls. The Alton Prison, opened in 1833 and closed in 1860, was the first Illinois State Penitentiary. In December of 1861, after inspecting the facilities, Major General Henry Halleck, Commander of the Department of the Missouri, prepared to have the prison re-opened as a the Alton Federal Military Prison.
On Feb. 9, 1862, the first prisoners arrived at the prison. Inmates of the prison included Confederate soldiers, citizens imprisoned for treason acts, and bushwackers or guerillas imprisoned for acts against the government. Much of the time, the prison was overcrowded, prisoners were malnourished and had inadequate clothing.
Under these dilapidated conditions, prisoners were exposed to influenza, dysentery and small pox. The small pox epidemic grew in numbers, and the official military death toll listed 1,354 deceased. A monument dedicated to those who perished can be found at their burial site in the Confederate Cemetery.
After the war, the prison was privately purchased and building blocks were removed. The remaining small portion of the wall was restored in 1973 and may be visited today.
Alton's National Cemetery
600 Pearl St. Alton, IL 62202
Fought on American soil, the Civil War was the deadliest war in American history. More than three million men fought in this “war between the states” that claimed the lives of more than 620,000 soldiers. An estimated 263 Union soldiers are buried in Alton’s National Cemetery. The men either died of disease at the Alton Hospital or onboard steamboats passing up the Mississippi River.