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Governor's Mansion

410 E. Jackson Street
Springfield, Illinois

Lincoln in Springfield Photo Tour

This red brick Italianate mansion in downtown Springfield has been the home of Illinois governors since 1855, when Joel A. Matteson and his family moved in. He was followed by William Bissell, who received the Lincolns at several large parties before they left for Washington.

On February 13, 1857, the Lincolns attended a party which a writer from the Illinois State Journal called "a delightful and magnificent entertainment, Governor and Mrs. Bissell doing the honors of host and hostess with an ease and grace which attracted and pleased all who were present ... Throughout the evening, a fine brass and string band discoursed most delicious music, and the dancers kept the cotillions filled until a late hour."

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Restored in 1971 and added to the National Register of Historic Places five years later, the 45,120 square-foot building houses many treasures. It is the third-oldest governor's mansion still in use. When you walk inside, you immediately see the exquisite elliptical stairway which leads to spacious rooms decorated in British Regency style.

Once upstairs you can see an oil portrait of Lincoln's longtime friend, Edward D. Baker. Baker gave this to Lincoln shortly after he was elected to the U.S. Senate from Oregon and Lincoln had been elected to the presidency. Also on display is a bust of Lincoln modeled from life by Thomas D. Jones, bedroom furniture given to the Lincolns, White House china, and a spectacular table presented to President Lincoln which contains more than 20,000 pieces of inlaid wood.

Hours: The building is open daily from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays. For information about tours and policies, click here.

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