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Springfield did not exist when statehood was granted to Illinois in 1818, but in 1837 it was chosen as the state capital, and the state legislature moved to Springfield in 1839. It is now an important government center.
The city is rich in memories of Abraham Lincoln, who lived here for 24 years; he practiced law, married and is buried in Springfield. The four-block Lincoln Home National Historic Site is closed to automobile traffic, forming a pedestrian court surrounding the neighborhood in which the Lincoln home is situated.
This historic area has gaslights and wooden sidewalks. At Chase Bank, East Old State Capitol Plaza, visitors can view an original ledger of Lincoln's account with Springfield Marine & Fire Insurance Co. Also, the Old State Capitol is the site of Lincoln's “House Divided” speech.
Reminders of Lincoln are but one facet of Springfield's historical significance. Springfield also is the birthplace of poet Vachel Lindsay. In addition the Governor's Mansion at Fifth and Jackson streets has been a center of Springfield's social life since 1855.
Costumed interpreters present living-history vignettes with Abraham Lincoln during History Comes Alive, held downtown early June through August. Along with a slew of nostalgic local establishments, the annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival held in September celebrates legendary Route 66's arrival in Springfield. Over a period of 10 days each August, the Illinois State Fair takes center stage in Springfield.
Visitor Info
Visit Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau 109 N. 7th St. SPRINGFIELD, IL 62702. Phone:(217)789-2360 or (800)545-7300
White Oaks Mall, 2501 Wabash Ave., has Macy's, Bergner's and Sears as its anchors. Springfield's downtown historic district offers a variety of specialty shops as well as restaurants. Scheels, a 200,000-square-foot store off I-72 at 3801 S. MacArthur Blvd., has a large selection of sporting gear and apparel, an aquarium and a Ferris wheel.
Self-guiding tours
Information about walking tours of the historic district is available at the convention and visitors bureau.
Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
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Top Hotels
Current Location: Springfield, Illinois
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Fairfield Inn by Marriott
3446 Freedom Dr. Springfield, IL 62704
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Best Western Clearlake Plaza
3440 E Clear Lake Ave. Springfield, IL 62702
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Crowne Plaza Hotel
3000 S Dirksen Pkwy. Springfield, IL 62703
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