SPRINGFIELD – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is offering special tours this summer that let visitors explore historic Springfield and learn about the unlikely romance between Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd.
The “Abe and Mary: Quite Contrary” walking tour takes visitors through downtown Springfield, past the spots where a rough young lawyer and a Southern belle fell for one another, where they broke up but reunited and married, and where they lived happily until leaving for Washington.
The free tour will be offered every Tuesday at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in June, July and August. It covers 1.5 miles and takes about an hour. Guests should wear comfortable shoes, bring water and dress appropriately for the weather, which can be quite hot.
The tour begins at the presidential museum (212 N. Sixth Street), where you are encouraged – but not required – to visit the section about Lincoln’s life before the presidency. The tour ends at the First Presbyterian Church (Seventh Street and Capitol Avenue), but guests are welcome to accompany the guides back to the museum.
“It really is striking just how contrary Abraham and Mary were on so many levels – their educations, upbringings, temperaments. At the same time, they complemented each other so well that they were able to achieve the impossible,” said one of the guides, Jenifer Brownell.
The tours usually fill up by the morning, so advance reservations are strongly encouraged. Visit www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology.
The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history. The museum uses traditional exhibits, eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling techniques to educate visitors.