Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

Arriving on the square...

A little info for you...

It really is a lovely old building...

View from the opposite end of the square...

Didn't realize the Donner Party was from here...

On the other side of the square stands the famous Law Office...

A closer look at Mary's face....

And Abe's as well...

Stepping inside, an informational display...

This used to be the Springfield Post Office...

To save postage, letters were sometimes written like this....First one way...

And then you turn it & write the other way! How cool...

Our tour guide almost looks like a mannequin here! He's really alive...

Holding the flag with 23 stars in the courtroom. This is where...

Back on the square, another well done bronze...

Time for lunch!!!!

A nice Irish Pub...

Our ponyshoes have arrived...

This is the buffalo chicken..Hot & spicy...The cheese sauce is amazing! A...


Today's post covers our visit to the Old State Capitol Square, where on one side of the square stands the Old State Capitol and on the other side the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices. Since we were going to the 'new' State Capitol for a tour the next day, we decided to see the Law Office today. It didn't take long, one hour to view them both. Admittance was once again free. Wow, we're just not used to anything being 'free'. That's been the case for many of the sites we've visited lately. Very nice and a welcome change to our budget, lol!

The Old State Capitol building served as the seat of state government and a center of Illinois political life from 1839 to 1876. During the dramatic years leading to the Civil War, the building had an important role in the political struggle between Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). Lincoln visited the building frequently as both a lawyer and a politician, serving in the building during his last term in the Illinois House of Representatives and delivering the famous 1858 “House Divided” speech in Representatives Hall, and using the governor’s rooms as a headquarters during the 1860 presidential campaign. The building was also the scene of the assassinated President’s final laying-in-state on May 3-4, 1865. It's a lovely building and stands out prominently on the square.

Just across the square and on the corner stands the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, which is the only remaining building in which Abraham Lincoln maintained a law office. The site consists of the surviving portion of a three-story brick commercial block constructed in 1840-41. Exterior details reflect the then-popular Greek Revival architectural style. Though designed as a commercial structure, portions of the building were rented for offices and other purposes. Lincoln practiced law in the building from 1843 to about 1852. During his 1847-1849 tenure as a United States Congressman, partner William H. Herndon (1818-1891) maintained the practice. In 1978 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a part of the Central Springfield Historic District.

The “restored” building’s first floor visitor center consists of an exhibit gallery and audiovisual theater, along with a room interpreted as an 1840s post office facility. On the second floor are rooms representing those used by the federal court, and on the third floor a "common room" and three lawyers’ offices. Two of the offices were used by Lincoln and his partners, prominent local attorneys Herndon and Stephen T. Logan (1800-1880). The recreated offices are notable for the plainness and disorder that were remembered by Lincoln associates. Our tour guide today was very friendly and quite knowledgeable. The tour lasted about 20 minutes and there were two flights of stairs to climb, although there was a small elevator for those that wanted to use it. I wouldn't say this would be 'a destination', but if you are in the area it is worth an hour or so of your time for sure.

After seeing the law office & the Old State building we headed to Darcy's Pint for a horseshoe. A what you might ask??? Yep, that's what we said! Darcy's was highly recommended by several local's for their horseshoe, or if you prefer, the smaller ponyshoe. The difference apparently is mostly in the serving of fries you receive on top. Anyway, what it amounts to is a grilled piece of Texas toast with the meat of your choice on top, covered with piping hot French fries and a beer cheese sauce poured over all! Larry chose the hamburger while I opted for the buffalo chicken. It was unique, different, tasty, very filling & the cheese sauce was amazing. Understand, this dish is NOT even close to being anything that is on our current diet lifestyle. But heh, what the heck, you have to splurge occasionally and do what the locals do. Right??? I thought you'd agree. Was it good? Yes....Would I rush back for more? No...



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