It was Sandy and Cindy’s day out about a month ago when we headed west to Quincy and Carthage! My friend Sandy agreed to keep me company when I was traveling in pursuit of Lincoln sites for a Travel Awaits article. It helped that Sandy is originally from Quincy so she knew details that I might miss!
Hit the Road to Quincy and Carthage!
Taking the backroads we went through small towns meandering until we reached Quincy. Our ultimate destination there was the Lincoln Douglas debate site downtown. On October 15, 1858, two years before Lincoln became President, he debated Stephen Douglas for the Senate seat in Quincy. This site is pretty amazing with excerpts of their speeches showing pretty clearly the differences between Douglas and Lincoln on the slavery issue. The panel of the debate is a beautiful sculpture completed by Illinois artist Lorado Taft.
Dining in Quincy
After oohing and ahhing over more of the history and architectural sites on the Quincy square, we spied the restaurant Tiramisu. This wonderful find was a great place for a bit of Italian fare! After some pasta we split (of course) tiramisu!
On to Carthage, Illinois
In Carthage, Illinois our ultimate stop was the Kibbe Museum, a stop I had been to once before! However, we had to take a twirl around the stunning Hancock County Courthouse. This courthouse is astounding! We were able to tour this amazing building. This is actually the 3rd courthouse. (The second was one that Abraham Lincoln defended William Fraim of murder and lost. He was the only man to die by hanging in Hancock County).
The courthouse was built in 1908 and is built of white Bedford stone. The roof was made of red Spanish tiles although they have been replaced. Tennessee marble wainscoting is used inside, but most riveting to Sandy and I was the amazing rotunda of fish scale art glass. Then there is also an art glass window depicting Lady Justice above the stairs.
The courtroom is also a work of art. An eagle is also encased and on display.
Onto the Kibbe Museum!
The Kibbe Museum offers an astounding amount of Lincoln history. Sherry Wright of the museum shared, “There is a whole room devoted to Lincoln.”
At this wonderful museum we viewed many Lincoln artifacts including a lock of William Fraim’s hair, the ill fated man that Lincoln defended in the courthouse that was torn down. My favorite Lincoln artifact is an 18 star flag that was hand sewn. It was made for the October 22, 1858 occasion when Lincoln was speaking in Carthage at the Courthouse. It was stitched by local women.
Besides the immense Lincoln collection their is a treasure trove of medical things to see as well as fun Pioneer items. Sandy and I loved the beautiful Burg automobile. Since I was writing a story about the museum Sherry spoiled us and let us pose in this amazing beauty!
There is so much to see in this museum that is open everyday! Attached to the museum is the Hancock County Historical Society. Keith Burns took a few minutes to share information with Sandy and I about the St. Simon Cemetery. This Catholic Cemetery is also known as the Lincoln Cemetery because several of Abraham Lincoln’s relatives are buried there!
Other Sites as Well!
Carthage is also home to the Carthage Jail. This is the site where the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered while waiting for trial. This is a rather sacred site to members of the Latter-day Saints. I would have loved to visit, but it was closed. Nauvoo, Illinois which has a lot of history is also nearby!
Sandy and I had a great day full of beauty and history. We drove slowly home remembering the Lincoln sites, but best of all the time we spent on a day trip seeing new things and making memories.
What have you seen in the Quincy and Carthage area?