Illinois Historic Sites

By Lisa A. Alzo Premium

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site 30 Ramey St. Collinsville, IL 62234 (618)346-5160 <>: Cahokia Mounds preserves the remains of Indian tribes who lived in Illinois as early as 700 AD. You can see 68 historic mounds and enjoy special events, craft classes, lectures, tours and other programs year round.

Fort de Chartres RR 2 Prairie du Rocher, IL 62277 (618) 284-7230 <>: Originally built in 1720 by France’s colonial government, Fort de Chartres became a key French military point. Today you can view the reconstructed stone fort, including the guard’s house and king’s storehouse.

Lewis and Clark State Historic Site 1 Lewis and Clark Trail Hartford, IL 62048 (618)251-5811 <>: At the first stop on the National Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail, visitors can see the Corps of Discovery monument, visit the Interpretive Center and view a 55-foot, full-scale replica of the keelboat Lewis and Clark used on their journey.

Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site Oak Ridge Cemetery Springfield, IL 62702 (217) 782-2717 <> Visit the monument that holds the remains of Abraham Lincoln, his wife and three of their sons. For a preview, take the virtual tour online. Find other Lincoln historic sites at <>

Lincoln’s New Salem 15588 History Lane Petersburg, IL 62675 (217)632-4000 <>: Tour this town as it was 150 years ago, when a young Abe spent six years in New Salem. You’ll see 12 log cabins, a tavern, a school, a blacksmith shop, a saw and grist mill, and more. Historic artifacts from the early 1800s adorn the rooms in each reconstructed building. Take a virtual tour of the village online.

Naper Settlement 523 S. Webster St. Naperville, IL 60540 (630) 420-6010 <>: This living history museum showcases 19th-century frontier life. You’ll see 30 structures and witness costumed villagers interpreting the daily life of early pioneers. Special events include a quilt show, Civil War Days and an old-fashioned circus.

Ulysses S. Grant Home 500 Bouthillier St. Galena, IL 61036 (815) 777-3310 <>: Gen. Grant’s 1860s home is located in one of America’s best-preserved 19th-century towns. Galena citizens presented Grant with the home when he returned victorious from the Civil War Aug. 18, 1865. You can tour the restored house, which is decorated with original Grant family furnishings, and on special weekends, take evening tours by lamplight.

Vandalia Old State Capitol 315 W. Gallatin St. Vandalia, IL 62471 (618)283-1161 <>: From 1836 to 1839, Vandalia served as Illinois’ second capital city. Take a guided tour or stroll through the old capitol on your own, viewing documents from the state’s early days and Abraham Lincoln’s stint as a state representative.

Visitor Information

Illinois Bureau of Tourism 620 E. Adams St., Fourth Floor Springfield, IL 62701 (800) 406-6418 <>

Chincago Convention and Tourism Bureau 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60616 (312) 567-8500 <>

From the June 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.