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Springfield, Illinois City Info
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Springfield, Illinois is the site of a number of attractions through which the life and times of President Abraham Lincoln are vividly represented. Lincoln began his political career in Springfield. Included are a national park site, his family home, and the conserved neighborhood surrounding it. The four-block Lincoln Home National Historic Site is closed to automobile traffic, forming a pedestrian court within the neighborhood in which the Lincoln home is situated.

This historic area has been authentically restored in every detail and even has streets with gas lamps and wooden sidewalks. In East Old State Capitol Plaza, visitors can view an original ledger of Lincoln's account with Springfield Marine & Fire Insurance Co. The Old State Capitol is the site of Lincoln's “House Divided” speech from his debate as a presidential candidate with his opponent, Stephen Douglas. The Herndon-Lincoln law office, the old capitol building; the newly built Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the train depot from which he departed to Washington are all sites to be visited. Lincoln’s burial mausoleum is north of Springfield, near the village of Petersburg. There is also a restored settlement of log cabins recreating Salem, the village in which Lincoln lived as a young man.

Springfield is the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County. The city was founded in 1819, became the county seat in 1823, and received its city charter in 1840. It was made the capital of Illinois in 1837, and the Legislature convened there for the first time in 1839. Springfield is now an important government center. Its Governor's Mansion, at Fifth and Jackson streets, is the oldest continuously occupied governor's mansion in the nation and a center of Springfield's social life since 1855. The city lies along two interstates, one of which was formerly known as highway 36; the other was historic Route 66.

Springfield was the birthplace of poet Vachel Lindsay. It was also the point of origin for the Donner Party, a group of pioneers who were tragically stranded in the Sierra Nevada during severe winter storms lasting many weeks. Springfield's Dana-Thomas House is among the best preserved and most complete of Frank Lloyd Wright's early "Prairie Houses”. It was built in 1902-04 and contains many of the original furnishings designed for it by Wright. In August, Springfield is the site of the Illinois State Fair. Springfield is also home to the Bunn Company, known for the manufacture of coffee-makers and supplies.

The Springfield campus of the University of Illinois is located on the southeast side of the city.

The corn dog on a stick originated in Springfield, where it was (and still is) called a Cozy Dog. For many years the popular Reisch Beer was brewed in Springfield. Another Springfield culinary invention consists of two pieces of thick, buttered Texas toast, topped with two hamburger patties, surrounded by a pile of French fries, with the entire creation being completely covered by mounds of cheese sauce. To order: just ask for a horseshoe sandwich.

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