An Illinois Building that Watched History

The Old State Capitol is firmly rooted in Illinois, with its local, eye-catching limestone, but it has watched scenes of national significance unfold. Built in 1839, the Old State Capitol is across the street from President Lincoln’s law office. It is where President Lincoln gave his “House Divided” speech and headquartered his presidential campaign. After… Read More An Illinois Building that Watched History

Discovering the Dana Thomas House

Springfield, Illinois, is perhaps best known for its association with President Abraham Lincoln. It is home to Lincoln’s house, office, and tomb. Its historically significant architecture, however, do not stop there. In 1902, just 41 years after Lincoln was elected president and moved from Springfield to Washington, DC, a woman named Susan Lawrence commissioned Frank… Read More Discovering the Dana Thomas House

A Historic Trail Through the Midwest’s Best Backyards: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva is known, among other things, as “the Newport of the Midwest.” So it should come as no surprise that, like Newport, its historic summer mansions left by the 19th century’s elite are balanced by a public walking trail that encircles the entire lake. Much like Newport’s Cliff Walk, the trail primarily skirts backyards… Read More A Historic Trail Through the Midwest’s Best Backyards: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

A President You’ve Heard of in a Town You Probably Haven’t

Between his childhood in Kentucky and his years in Springfield, Illinois, the later President Abraham Lincoln lived in the tiny river-front town of New Salem, Illinois. Lincoln first passed through New Salem on a flatboat, en route to New Orleans on the Sangamon River. He moved to New Salem shortly after when, in 1831 and… Read More A President You’ve Heard of in a Town You Probably Haven’t

Lincoln’s Law Office: Bringing Ghost Signs Back to Life

Painted signs on buildings were the billboards of the nineteenth century. They could be large and numerous. Today, reminders of these signs grace older buildings throughout cities from London to Chicago in the form of “ghost signs“: faded remnants of painted signs that disappear a little more each year. In most cases these signs are… Read More Lincoln’s Law Office: Bringing Ghost Signs Back to Life