"The Great Western Railroad Depot" Top 5 Page for this destination Springfield Things to Do Tip by deecat
Springfield Things to Do: 73 reviews and 136 photos
This Lincoln Depot is owned and maintained by The State Journal-Register, a Copley newspaper.
We saw the Lincoln Depot twice, once in broad daylight and then at night for the Ghost Tour.
The Great Western Railroad Depot is also known as the Lincoln Depot because it is the site where Abraham Lincoln boarded a train on February 11, 1861 on his way to Washington, D.C. to be inaugurated 16th President of the United States.
The speech that he gave that day to say goodbye to Springfield was concise and emotional and has become known as the Farewell Address:
"No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feelings of sadness at this parting. To this place [Springfield], and the kindness of these people, I owe everthing. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young man to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being, who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, who can go with me, and remain with you and be everywhere for good. Let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell."
The building  served as a freight and passenger station. It continued as a passenger station until 1868 when a new station was built at Tenth & Washington Streets. The railroad used it for a variety of purposes. Thank goodness they did not tear it down.
Today, visitors enter on the main floor. The ticket cage is in the center, gentlemen's waiting room on the east, and the ladies' waiting room is on the west ["away from the language & tobacco spitting of the men".] There is a diorama that depicts Lincoln's departure from Springfield
You are able to see a video narrated by National Public Radio journalist Scott Simon when you reach the second floor. This video has many anecdotes of events that happened furing Lincoln's 12-day journey to Washington, D.C.
He did return to Springfield, but in a casket.
Address: Tenth and Monroe Streets
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