SEPTEMBER 4, 2010 – Lincoln Tomb – Springfield, IL
The Lincoln Tomb was the second and last thing we saw on this trip while in Springfield. It was a very crowded site too, which was a little surprising. We enjoyed our visit, and the entire place was quite a different site to behold.
From the official website:
The life of President Abraham Lincoln was tragically cut short by an assassin’s bullet on April 15, 1865,. At the wishes of his loving wife Mary, his remains were returned to his home town of Springfield, Illinois. The Lincoln Monument in Oak Ridge Cemetery was erected to preserve the memory of President Lincoln’s selfless dedication to preserving the United States of America.
The original association, the National Lincoln Monument Association, was started immediately after President Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865 to raise funds to build his final resting place, “which would fitly illustrate his virtues and renown”. Donations were collected from across America over the next several years, and a contest was held to design the martyred President’s memorial. Larkin G. Mead of Brattleboro, Vermont, created the winning design, and construction began in 1868. The Lincoln Monument was dedicated by President Ulysses S. Grant on October 15, 1874. The original Lincoln Monument Association was disbanded when the last member passed away in 1894, and the tomb passed into the ownership and care of the State of Illinois.
The monument, originally built on an inadequate foundation, was reconstructed between 1899 and 1901, and the President’s remains were buried for the final time on September 26, 1901. They now lie in an underground vault sealed in concrete. A second reconstruction was done in 1930 and 1931 to give the public interior access to the burial chamber. President Herbert Hoover presided over dedication ceremonies on June 17, 1931. The exterior plaza was reconstructed in 2008, and, in 2010-11, the state of Illinois installed an ecologically responsible geo-thermal heating and cooling system. Work began in late 2013 to refurbish the interior of the tomb.
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