Exploring Lincoln's Decatur & Macon County


Decatur, IL (June 5, 2018) - On a beautiful summer day, we took two of our granddaughters out to visit the Macon County Museum and the preserved/restored buildings from Lincoln's past. Not as hot as it was humid, one could get an idea what it was like for people to have worn the formal attire of the day in such conditions--and without air conditioning or electric fans.


When you first enter the museum, a small theatre opens up to pictures and icons of Lincoln around the screen upon which the introductory films are presented. Included among these are a bust and casts of Lincoln's hands. The slideshow below shows the theatre and its items:

After watching the video presentations on Lincoln and his time in Macon County, you enter the museum itself, filled with displays well-organized into different periods of Lincoln's life in Illinois. The first area shows the period of Lincoln's time as a log-splitter and lawyer:

Following this display were memories from his assassination:


Lincoln spent time as a Captain in the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R. or Union Army). His service begins an area that explored the Blackhawk War and Civil War, including uniforms, battles, implements, and life:

Next in the collection were Spanish-American War, WW I, and WW II displays:

Finally, an exhibit wrapped up the military scenes with remembrances from the Vietnam War:

Throughout the exhibits were examples of the lives of people in Macon County during various periods in the county's history. These are collected in the slideshow below:

To me, one of the most impressive and inspirational places in the museum was the superbly recreated library, filled with county history, archives, and items from the past. It just begged the visitor to come in, sit down, and read...


Although not widely advertised, the area in back of the museum was a collection of artifacts, restored, and recreated buildings from Lincoln's time, including the ORIGINAL Macon County Courthouse where Lincoln tried cases from time to time!

This was a very educational visit during our summer of exploring! Even the two granddaughters who were with us enjoyed being able to see and touch history. I highly recommend this stop when you visit the Springfield, Illinois area--Decatur is a half-hour east of Springfield, straight up I-72.

Macon County Historical Society

5580 N. Fork Rd.

Decatur, IL 62521


Phone: 217.422.4919


Website: http://www.mchsdecatur.org/


Hours of Operation

Tuesday - Saturday 1pm-4pm