Illinois Monuments

Illinois Monuments
While not known as a vacation hot spot, Illinois offers many destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. Horseshoe Lake State Park lies near the American Indian site of Cahokia Mounds, which dates back to 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1000. Illinois Caverns State Natural Area, a short drive from Belleville, offers more than 100 caves to explore. Illinois is also home to a remarkable array of monuments that memorialize its historically important residents, including poets Carl Sandburg and Vachel Lindsay, veterans of the Korean War and Vietnam Wars and statesman Stephen Arnold Douglas.

Lewis and Clark Site

Half an hour northeast of St. Louis across the Mississippi River, this expansive monument memorializes Camp Dubois, where pioneers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark camped during the winter of 1803 to 1804. Situated on the banks of Wood River, the site hosted the Corps of Discovery as they prepared for their expedition to the far reaches of the American West. The site has an interpretive center with six galleries, a theater and a gift shop. Don't miss the full-scale replica of Lewis and Clark's Missouri River keelboat and a reconstruction of the Corps' campgrounds near the visitor center.

Lewis and Clark Site
1 Lewis and Clark Trail
Hartford, IL

Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site

Ninety minutes southeast of Decatur in south central Illinois, the Lincoln Log Cabin commemorates the site of the last home of Abraham Lincoln's father and stepmother, Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln. Built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a replica of the Lincoln home marks the site of the original cabin. The grounds offer two working farms that recreate 1840s agricultural life and feature teams of working oxen, as well as horses, sheep and hogs. Interpreters in period costumes work the fields, feed and groom the animals and take care of the farm's day-to-day business. During the summer they take on character roles and provide first-person interpretation for visitors. The monument's visitor center and museum offers numerous Lincoln exhibits, an art gallery and an auditorium where you can watch an informational video. The park also has a pavilion and picnic areas.

Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site
402 S. Lincoln Highway
Lerna, IL 62440

Wild Bill Hickok Memorial

This granite monument in north central Illinois lies 10 minutes from Starved Rock State Park, which features spectacular waterfalls and canyons and 2,630 acres of forest. Dedicated in 1930, the unassuming pillar in a small, unnamed park marks the site of the birthplace of folk hero James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, a fearless marshal of Independence, Missouri, during the days of the Wild West. A plaque on the monument honors Hickok for his work as a scout, express messenger and spy in the Western frontier during the Civil War. In 1999, a tall carved-log bust of Hickok was added to park's grounds.

Wild Bill Hickok Memorial
Mechanic and Ottawa Streets
Troy Grove, IL 61372

Article Written By Angela Brown

Angela Brown has been a book editor since 1997. She has written for various websites, as well as National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio and more than 20 fiction anthologies. Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater and English from the University of Wisconsin.

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