Click for New Website: Quincy’s Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration

1828 Stagecoach Station, Ursa, School House

Quincy’s Collection of Historic Log Cabins
Of Lincoln-Douglas Era Open to Public View

City’s Friends
Of Log Cabins
Save Treasures,
Open to Public

1828 Stagecoach Station -- One of seven historic Adams County structures, preserved by volunteers of Quincy’s Friends of the Log Cabins will be open during the group’s “Lincoln-Era Frontier Settlement Days” Saturday afternoon, June 13.

        Several hundred people, some from as far away as California, attended the premier showing of the preservation work by Quincy’s Friends of the Log Cabins of one of Illinois’ largest collections of original log cabins. 

       The event was held on Saturday, June 13, and included more than a dozen period activities, including a visit by President Abraham Lincoln portrayed by Quincy Attorney Jack Inghram. Inghram portrayed Lincoln during C-SPAN’s reenactment in 1994 of the great debate between Lincoln and Quincy’s Stephen A. Douglas in Quincy i 1858. A complete list of events can be found by clicking here.

        Sponsors were the Friends, Quincy Park District and the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. The log cabin village, which is situated at Quinsippi Island, is one of the largest and finest collections of primitive structures – one dating back to 1828 – in Illinois. It was the first large-scale showing of the seven cabins and stone smokehouse since the Friends launched a project two years ago to save them. For a look at the other buildings and more details, please click here.

        The small village of log cabins, stagecoach station and schoolhouse, corn crib, church and smokehouse are part of the stabilization and restoration project of the volunteer group, Friends of the Log Cabins. The organization began their efforts to maintain the historic structures to make them accessible to the public. John Gebhart spearheaded the FLC’s early efforts and is the organization’s president. Several other men and women have provided leadership and labor to stabilize and refurbish the village.

        Volunteers with the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) offered food and refreshments available.

        The Lincoln-Era Frontier Settlement Day was presented as part of Quincy’s celebration of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.

Center Front
Lincoln Exhibit

Lincoln-Douglas Debate Interpretive Center
Bicentennial Commission’s Legacy to Quincy

        While activities celebrating the connections of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas to Quincy wind down, the sponsor of the year-long observances has signed a 50-year lease to leave a continuing legacy.

         The Quincy Lincoln Bicentennial Commission is opening an interpretive center at 128 S. Fifth St. in Quincy designed to share Quincy’s stories of Lincoln and Douglas’s friendships and influences in the Quincy area. (Continued below.)

The Lincoln-Douglas Debate Interpretive Center is at 128 S. 5th St.

        The center is within only a few feet of the spot on South Fifth Street where Lincoln and Douglas debated in Quincy on October 13, 1858, during the contest for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Re-elected to the post, Douglas was considered the winner of the seven debates. But their spotlight on Lincoln propelled him to the presidency when he and Douglas battled for the presidency in 1860.

        The local Bicentennial Commission has formed a partnership with the Quincy Historic Business District, whose offices are located in the center and whose staff will help provide staffing.

        The QLBC’s Research Committee is currently designing displays that will help tell the story of the Great Debate between Lincoln and Douglas and the people of Quincy who influenced them. The full story of Quincy’s debate is available by clicking here.

        The committee expects a grand opening of the center in August.

The story of two great political foes is told in this first exhibit at the Lincoln Douglas Interpretive Center.

        Located at about the spot where the second Adams County Courthouse stood, and where Douglas presided as circuit judge, the center will host several activities and be the starting point for numerous historical tours.

        A good number of the men and women Lincoln and Douglas looked to for advice and friendship had homes and offices situated within walking distance of the interpretive center. 

        Abraham Jonas, who was chairman of the committee that welcomed Lincoln to Quincy on the morning of the debate, had law offices with partner and Lincoln associate Henry Asbury on the corner just north. Orville Browning, who would succeed Douglas in the Senate on Douglas’s death in 1861, and wife Eliza lived just three blocks northeast at Eighth and Hampshire. 

        Many others, among them Andrew Johnston, William A. Richardson, James Singleton, and John Wood, also were close by.


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