Yesterday, business was as usual – sort of – at Illinois historic sites. Volunteers at Lincoln’s Log Cabin peeled potatoes and answered visitors’ questions, while Carl Sandburg Birthplace held another in its Songbag Concert Series honoring the troubadour/poet who devoted more than 15 years of his life to writing a six-volume biography of Lincoln. Visitors to the David Davis Mansion saw the home all decked out in its holiday finery.
Yet, though the events went on in Charleston and Galesburg in spite of impending closings later today due to budget cuts, sadness was in the air. Surely, a few tears were shed, as I know they would have been had I been there. The feeling in Bloomington, however, was a guarded sort of relief. The Christmas festivities will go on at the David Davis Mansion and the site will remain open – at least through the February bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.
I’ve talked to journalists who have to cover such happenings. It’s never an easy job, yet today several Illinois journalists captured the somber feelings in Charleston and Galesburg and the hopeful feelings in Bloomington.
To read about the human impact of the budget cuts, see the articles about the:
- Lincoln Log Cabin by Rob Stroud of Journal-Gazette Times-Courier Online
- Carl Sandburg Birthplace by Eric Timmons of The Register-Mail
- David Davis Mansion by Phyllis Coulter of The Pantagraph
For Lincoln buffs, history nuts and the young people who won’t be able to see these historic sites and be bitten by the history bug, this is a sad time indeed.