August 04, 2006

Dead, mourning and sleeping.

All right, last day, I promise. Then I get back to the normal drivel that I post.

Our final stop on our vacation was Springfield, Illinois. It’s the state capitol and the site of many Abraham Lincoln historic spots. We’d driven past before, but never stopped so the boys could see anything. One of the places we visited was Lincoln’s tomb in Oakridge Cemetery.

Lincoln Tomb.jpg

The tomb itself is rather impressive. It’s also the only tomb I’ve been in that is air-conditioned. There was about a 15 minute talk given by one of the custodians that gave the history of the tomb, including the temporary resting places of Lincoln and his family while it was being constructed. The tomb is maintained solely by the State of Illinois and receives no funding from the Federal Government. According to the guide the only support that was received from the Federal government was 20 brass cannon from the civil war that where melted down to create the four statues commemorating the infantry, cavalry, artillery and navy from the civil war on the exterior of the memorial.

Lincoln grave.jpg

In the burial chamber is the sarcophagus is inscribed with the words, “Now he belongs to the ages.” A misquote by Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s secretary of war at the time of Lincoln’s death. What the guide told us he really said was, “Now he belongs to the angles”. He was misquoted and it has stuck ever since. Which if you think about it, the misquote is appropriate.

After the tomb we stopped at the Museum of Funeral Customs. Yes, the Museum of Funeral Customs, yes I know. Everyone I’ve told that to has said something along the lines of, “You took your kids to see what?!?!” It actually was rather interesting. They had a scale replica of Lincolns burial train, many different styles of mourning clothes, hearses, embalming equipment, caskets, coffins and other mourning paraphernalia. It was rather interesting.

A Hearse from the early 1900’s.

Next we went to Lincoln’s New Salem. It’s a replica village of the first settlement Lincoln lived in when he came to Illinois. Since we arrived on a Saturday we were hoping the place would have all kinds of activities going on. Living history demonstrations and re-enactors portraying life in the time period. Maybe even some kind of tour. Unfortunately it was pretty much vacant. There where a handful of volunteers, but nothing was really going on. It was pretty disappointing. None of the trades were being demonstrated and occasionally you would find someone in costume that would give you a brief talk about the building style you where in.

New Salem.jpg
The boys outside a coopers (barrel maker) house.

This was also the hottest day of our vacation. After walking around for a couple of house we decided we had enough and were ready to leave. If it had been cooler or if maybe there were demonstrations or talks going on we would have stayed longer. We just didn’t feel like walking all over the site looking at empty log cabins that looked like all the other log cabins we had seen over the last 5 years.

Jumping into the van we headed home. Much of the time was spent looking for exploding pavement, as we were traveling down a section of highway that was known to do that in the heat. Not two hours from home Clone took his first nap of the vacation. All the excitement of the previous week had worn him out.

Clone Sleeps.jpg
Tired guy.

That was our trip in a nutshell. We had a lot of fun and saw many different things. I didn’t go into everything we did, as it would have taken another week to write these posts and share pictures.

Posted by Contagion in Family Life at August 4, 2006 06:27 PM | TrackBack

Wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing the stories and the pictures. I love stuff like that. My hubby will even visit grave yards with me, just so I can look at tomb stones.

Posted by: vw bug at August 4, 2006 06:44 PM

I see "someone" is finally sleeping in the car.....!!

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at August 4, 2006 09:18 PM

I need a clone hug?

When??? When am I gonna see you guys again???????

Posted by: Tammi at August 4, 2006 09:37 PM

Sounds like you had a great vacation!

If you are ever in Michigan I have a feeling that you would just love Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford Museum.

This weekend is "All about Baseball" weekend, they are playing oldtime ball using 1876 rules.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at August 5, 2006 05:19 PM

I REALLY want to go to the new Lincoln Library. I've heard it is fantastic. We had wanted to go in February and ended up getting snowed in at the Crowne Plaza.

Posted by: Raging Mom at August 7, 2006 12:11 PM