As I was driving into Illinois I passed Niantic, IL. I was tempted to pull off the highway and see if I could catch any rare Pokemon. Seemed if they would be anywhere it would be in the city with a name shared by Pokemon Go’s parent company.
I got to the Double J campground pretty early.
It’s a pretty campground with easy pull throughs for my trailer. I went into town and looked around to where I’d be going in the morning. There are some nice murals painted downtown.
Old State Capital
I found where the tourist information center and Lincoln museum are. The next morning I went into the information center first thing. Fortunately I found out that they give free parking downtown for local tourists so I didn’t have to be feeding quarters to the meters all day.
I started off at the Lincoln Museum. It was $15 to get in for 2 hours of entertainment. Well worth it.
Found out Marilyn Monroe was a fan of Abraham Lincoln.
And saw many cool displays.
This museum has a ton of volunteers around to ask questions. Many of the displays are interactive or they have projections on wall paintings to prevent it from being just a static display. Great use of multimedia throughout the museum. They also have two 15 minute shows to watch. The first is a projected display detailing the history of Lincoln from the perspective of the painter who did the portrait of Lincoln.
They have Windows drop down to project the various displays on to highlight those objects. There is cannon fire that come out from below the displays with smoke rings. Sit towards the back so you can take it all in.
The second presentation is the ghosts of Lincoln library. This has a 45 degree angle screen in front where they project ghosts and the interactive objects that a live actor is talking about behind. A great mixture of a live presentation with multimedia display. Very entertaining. This one you should sit up close for.
For $15 you definitely get your monies worth.
They also had a display at Union Station with props from the movie Lincoln.
I then went to the Lincoln house.
The tour guide swore that the colors on the carpet and wallpaper were authentic. They restored this whole neighborhood back to what it was like in the 1860’s and made it a national park. Very interesting to see the detail they went to.
I had lunch at the Cozy Drive In. This is where the Corn Dog was created.
Another destination on Route 66. Still have all of Illinois to drive.
So after seeing this in the Lincoln house gift shop I decided to go see the Dana Thomas house in Springfield. This is another house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was originally a Victorian home that he stripped the down and then built around it. Only one room is original to the old Victorian home. I think by far this is my favorite Frank Lloyd Wright home to date.
The copper roof is phenomenal. This house has more etched glass than I’ve seen any of the other FLW houses. It also has two barrel ceilings in it. One of which is in the dining room. FLW only put 4 barrel ceilings in his houses and two of them are in this one. It also has a bowling alley and pool table in the basement. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed of the inside. I had bought some postcards to take pictures of to show the inside but I can’t seem to find them right now. Got too far behind in updating the blog.
Anyway, a busy quick stop in Springfield Illinois. Probably will be back this way again as I finish up Route 66. Which that’s my next stop is to cross off another 100 miles on the route.