LERNA, Ill. (WCIA) — There is a place in Coles County where you can take a step back in time, and feel like you’re on a page of a history book.
Illinois is lovingly called the “Land of Lincoln.”
But, this spot in Cole’s county, is known as Lincoln’s land.
“He’s traveling on the 8th judicial circuit, he stops in Charleston in the spring and fall…May and October usually, and at that time he usually gets the opportunity to come down and visit with his family here on the farm,” said Matthew Middelstaedt.
Middelstaedt could tell you anything you’d ever want to know about Abraham Lincoln’s family, all from the home of Lincoln’s father and stepmother, Thomas and Sarah.
“That log cabin that Lincoln was born in will be a home that’s very similar to this, and so when you come out here to the farm (to his family’s home) you really get a better understanding of the sort of place that he was raised in, and that family environment that produced the president,” said Middelstaedt.
Over the summer, kids can immerse themselves in the history and culture they’ve only read about in school.
“They get to experience life as you might have found it in the 1840s/1845,” said staff member Cerys Boston. “So they come out every day, they cook a noon meal, enjoy games/activities, and get some music, dancing…things like that.”
No smart phones, tablets, or gaming consoles…
Just pure, old-fashioned fun, with Lincoln’s legacy perfectly blended in.
“They are just thrilled. It makes us so happy to see how much fun they have every summer. A lot of our campers return year after year, and they bring their friends with them every year,” said Boston.
The log cabin is close to the courthouse, where both Abraham and his father served in the judicial system, and just went to pay their taxes.
Even though this historic place isn’t technically in the city’s limits, its ties to Our Town Charleston run deep.
The Lincoln Log Cabin is an 86 acre site.
It’s owned and operated by the state of Illinois, and managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.