Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Springfield, IL

We traveled on up the road to Springfield, IL and purposely visited the home of Abraham Lincoln, August 21.  After visiting his birthplace in KY and boyhood home in IN several days before while camped in Fort Knox, we just had to follow up and finish the "rest of the story", as Paul Harvey once said.
Above, Nancy waiting to pay for parking space at the NHS.  Notice the Ranger providing instructions   on how the process works,,,hmmm!
From Wiki:  Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the Springfield, Illinois home and a historic district where Abraham Lincoln lived from 1844 to 1861, before becoming the 16th President of the United States. The presidential memorial includes the four-blocks surrounding the home and a visitor center.  His home wasn't huge, but large by 1850's standards.
Above, Nancy chatting with an era role player, and another just to her left in the brown jacket.  Later, we would meet a very renown Lincoln role player.
Here a few pics from the inside of his home.  We were told by the guide that 90% of the furnishings here are authentic Lincoln artifacts.  What a treasure!
Above/below, After our tour through the house we moved on to the back of the home where we joined in a twenty minute chat with Mr. Lincoln.  This man is incredible!  Fritz Klein, looks, acts and sounds so much like we have come to learn how Mr. Lincoln really was.
Klein, who has been acting since 1970 and playing Lincoln exclusively since 1980, says sometimes he even fools himself.  “Once in a while,” Klein says, "I do feel like I have some presidential authority.  Once in a while, there’s a glimmer.”  While living in Hawaii in 1976, Klein initially turned down the role of playing Lincoln in a community play.  “But a professional makeup artist said to me, ‘Let me show you what we can do with you,'” Klein said.
Since that first performance, Klein has portrayed Lincoln in feature films in both the U.S. and in Europe, and can count on one hand how many roles he’s turned down, including the most recent: “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

Klein and his family moved to the Continental U.S. in 1980, wanting to settle down in a place where tourism would play a big role in the community. The perfect fit was Springfield, Ill., where Klein portrays Lincoln at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, convincing thousands of what he himself first had to be convinced.  
His mannerisms and speech and colloquiums are so period and so Abraham Lincoln, country bumpkin self-taught genius.
All I can say is that if you ever are within 100 miles of Springfield, IL, go to this National Treasure of a place.  And if you're lucky, you may just see Mr. Lincoln himself, even if 160 years or so removed.  He can be seen in either his dark or white summer suit usually, but always in character, so be prepared to role play.  He relishes the dialogues.
And he is quite the story teller, as was the real Mr. President.  His pre-president days found him frequenting his favorite places in the community or down certain dusty roads to share his many stories he shared from his countless evenings growing up reading everything he could get his hands on.
His home and little community here in near-downtown Springfield is eye-catching as well as educational for everyone.  There are several period homes and structures that have been restored, and a few are open for visiting inside.  
Just about four blocks or so to the north west stands the State Capital building.  We enjoy walking the majestic halls of capital buildings as they too capture so much history of each State's past while reflecting the rule and leadership of the current day.  So exciting, this travel thing we've been on for the past four years.
So, that's about we have on the home of our most popular if not our greatest President this country has ever produced, Abraham Lincoln of Springfield, IL.  So till the next blog, RVing Beach Bums signing off from Stephens Point, WI., Sept 15.