Getting ready for the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln funeral procession

The City of Springfield is truly the Land of Lincoln and they would be remiss without remembering their favorite son. The city will honor our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln with the accurate reenactment of the historic anniversary of his funeral procession. While several events that kick off in April are leading up to this somber occasion, it is May 1st and 2nd that the actual procession will take place.

The train will arrive at the Amtrak station. The train carrying the replicated coffin covered with an American flag that has been created by the original manufacturer of the flag that covered Lincoln’s body. The accurate to the time period train will arrive at the very same station that Lincoln’s body arrived 150 years ago. The coffin will be carried in a horse drawn specially built replica of the original Lincoln hearse following much of the historic route from the station to Washington and 6th Street where the opening ceremonies will commence. The coffin will be guarded over by Civil War re-enactor during a candle light vigil. On May 2nd the recreated Lincoln hearse will transport the coffin to Oak Ridge Cemetery our 16th President’s final resting place. The procession will go through the recently replicated First Street entrance and proceed to the old receiving vault.

The First Street entrance was just recently completed with the funeral procession a reason to make the $200,000 project a priority. On December 3rd Oak Ridge Cemetery held a dedication of the gate that is now an updated version of the one back in Lincoln’s time.

While the original gate was wooden, the brushed aluminum appears to be wooden. The dirt entrance is now a concrete walkway with a gate and bollards it can be opened and closed for foot traffic. There is an interpretive plaque (written by historian Ian Patrick Hunt) explaining the historical significance of the gate. “This presents the city with one more historical site,” Mike Lelys Executive Director said.

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