Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Springfield, Part Deux

Today I continued my Lincoln tour. My first stop was the
law office of Lincoln while he was an attorney in Springfield,
the several years prior to his presidency. I ended up getting my own private tour of the building since I was the only person there at the time. It was interesting to see how the court system was set up in the mid-1800s, as well as to see the office Lincoln shared with different colleagues during his 25 years as a practicing lawyer.

Next stop was just steps across the street to the Old State Building. At first I was impressed by the building. It looked like it had been well-restored, with impressive Senate and Representative Chambers, and I was imagining the statesmen like Stephen Douglas giving one of his great orations on the very spot on which I stood. And I was snapping pictures left and right. Until the guide admitted half-way through the tour that everything we were seeing was new. The original building, while located on that acreage, was completely dismantled in the early part of the last century and that 98% of this new building's contents were basically fakes. With that, I raised an eyebrow and sneered (those who know me have seen this look), and proceeded to delete 20-some images from my camera (thank God for digital). I turned around and left the tour and the building.

I don't want to see reproductions of things. The whole fun of pursuing history is ... well ... the history of it. I want to walk the same floor boards as Washington, Look out the same window as Jefferson, sit in the same chair as Franklin, climb the same staircase as Lincoln. I'm not interested in a reproduction or a remodel. Otherwise, I don't really see the point.

Dinner at Jimmy John's, followed by a much-needed nap (I think I was just getting crabby), I hit the gym. I slept very well.

My visit to Springfield was nice. I didn't get a chance to visit Lincoln's gravesite, but as The BF said, "Now you have a reason to go back." (He thinks I'm a nerd.)