Monday, April 13, 2009

Honest Abe

The Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is amazing. It's not very big, so you can get through the whole thing in about 1-1/2 hours (if you are rushed by small children), and you could probably feel like you hadn't missed anything if you had just an hour more.
The museum is populated with resin figure still-lifes, depicting different vignettes from Lincoln's life. They are startlingly realistic (I was caught off-guard several times by the leaning and learing statue of John Willkes Booth in the main lobby) and strangely moving. The scene where Abe and Mary Todd are checking on their son Willie, who was dying of tuberculosis, throughout the night as they were trying to host a ball on the main floor of the White House brought tears to my eyes.
The best photo opportunity is to picture yourself with the Lincoln family as they headed to Washington. Mimi snuggled right up to Mary Todd Lincoln.
And Mrs. Lincoln's Attic is full of things to play with. Olivia found herself a working dress and started cleaning that cabin up immediately. She was bossing the other kids about making dinner and doing dishes.
And Naomi found a beautiful ballgown in her typical Mimi way. When you've got a responsible older sister, why be anything but beautiful? The entire museum is very kid-friendly (except for those annoying alarms that sounded every time a child leaned in too close while looking at an exhibit), but fascinating for adults as well. There are two movies--well, more than movies, but I don't know the right word--in different theaters. The one called "Ghosts of the Library" is AMAZING. How do they do that?

And Lincoln's Tomb was located on our route out of the city, so we made a quick stop. It was beautiful, in a solemnly peaceful sort of way. Like Arlington Cemetery, which may be one of my favorite places on the planet. (But is it weird to love a cemetery?)
Everyone within driving distance ought to check out the Lincoln sites in Springfield. Thank you, Soelbergs, for the tip.


Liz said...

I love that Olivia took charge! What a firstborn. But then, neither one of us would know anything about that....

Sara said...

Oh Joe is going to be jealous! We've never been to the tomb before.

Thanks for indulging Joe/us in the Lincoln love. It's a pretty cool place.

Story Family said...

Em, I loved your write-ups about spring break! We are planning our trip to Nauvoo....maybe next summemr! And now I totally want to check out the Abraham Lincoln museum. It looked so neat!