Lincolnland 2010
Part 2
President Lincoln was born February 12, 1809. One year ago, on the bicen­ten­nial of his birth, Mr. Lincoln was absent from Disney­land and Walt Disney World. So I took you to Lincoln­land, a state that cele­brates Lincoln every day.
It’s now the 201st anni­ver­sary of Mr. Lincoln’s birth. He’s now back at both parks, but I have a sequel for you anyway.
Werner Weiss
Curator of Yesterland
February 12, 2010

copyright Disney
He’s back!

Less than two weeks after the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, Disneyland announced that by the end the 2009, guests could once again experience Mr. Lincoln in Main Street Opera House. He would be back after an absence of five years.

The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened on December 18, 2009—just in time to make the legitimate claim of reopening during Lincoln’s bicentennial year.

copyright Disney
The most lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure of Lincoln ever

The advanced Lincoln figure is the latest in an ever-improving succession of Lincoln figures since 1964. That’s when the State of Illinois—the Land of Lincoln—presented Walt Disney’s Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at the New York World’s Fair.

As he has since 1964, Mr. Lincoln sits, stands, and demonstrates his skills as an orator.

If you visit Chicago, you can also see Lincoln sitting, Lincoln standing, and Lincoln as an orator. But you’ll have to drive all over the city (or take a local history tour, as I did).

Lincolnland 2010
“Seated Lincoln” (cast 1908), Grant Park, Chicago

“Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State,” commonly called “Seated Lincoln,” is the work of renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907). It was cast in 1908, the year after his death, but not unveiled in Chicago’s Grant Park until 1925.

Grant Park, the large lakefront park that’s known as Chicago’s front yard, is named after Civil War General and U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. Chicago also has a statue of Grant, but it’s located elsewhere.

Yes. The Lincoln statue is in Grant Park and Grant statue is in Lincoln Park.

Lincolnland 2010
“Standing Lincoln” (1887), Lincoln Park, Chicago

There’s also a Lincoln statue in Lincoln Park. “The Standing Lincoln,” unveiled in 1887, is another magnificent work by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It’s somewhat hidden behind the Chicago History Museum.

Lincolnland 2010
“Young Lincoln” (1997), Senn Park, Chicago

A young, barefoot Abraham Lincoln sits on a tree stump at Ridge and Ashland Avenues. Charles Keck was the sculptor.

Lincolnland 2010
“Chicago Lincoln” (1956), Lincoln Square, Chicago

“The Chicago Lincoln: A Chance To Portray Liberty,” sculpted by Avard Fairbanks (1897-1987), is in a neighborhood called Lincoln Square. I doubt many other Walgreens stores can claim to have art by a distinguished sculptor in front.

The man speaking in front of the statue is Chicago historian and history tour guide Albert Walavich. In May 2009, Walavich gave an excellent tour of Chicago’s Lincoln statues—with insight from his extensive knowledge of the subject and humor, when appropriate—as part of the Chicago History Museum’s local tour program.

Lincolnland 2010
“Lincoln, The Orator” (1903), Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago

Unlike the statues maintained by the Chicago Park District, the bronze of “Lincoln, The Orator” is badly oxidized. The green patina isn’t that bad, but, sadly, black stains on his eyes give this Lincoln a zombie-like appearance. The sculptor was Charles J. Mulligan (1866-1916).

The statue is in Oak Woods Cemetery on Chicago’s South Side, surrounded by fallen Union soldiers. The historic cemetery is also the final resting place for 4,243 Confederate soldiers whose names are listed on bronze plaques around a 40-foot-tall granite monument at the Confederate Mound.

Lincolnland 2010
Lincoln in three poses (2009), Lincoln Landing, Lockport, Illinois

From Chicago, we now begin a journey to central Illinois. The first stop is the new Lincoln Landing in the historic I & M Canal town of Lockport.

One of the newest additions to Lincolnland is an unusual sculpture by artist David Ostro, unveiled on February 12, 2009. It shows young Congressman Abraham Lincoln in motion through three poses: dipping his hand into water, standing up, and walking off with purpose. What makes it unusual is how the three poses all occupy the same space. For example, the walking Lincoln emerges out of back of the Lincoln who is standing up.

Lincolnland 2010
“Railsplitter Covered Wagon” (2001) Lincoln, Illinois

So far, you’ve read about Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, and Lincoln Landing. Illinois also has a city that’s simply called Lincoln.

In 1853, land developers hired a country lawyer (who had experience as a surveyor) to plat the land so they could sell lots. Apparently, they were so impressed by the lawyer that they named the new town after him. That’s how the city was named for Lincoln before he became President.

The “Railsplitter Covered Wagon,” in Lincoln is bigger than it looks in the picture. It’s 24 feet tall, 12 feet wide, and 40 feet long. The wagon’s driver, Abraham Lincoln, is engrossed in a law book. The builder of the monumental artwork is David Bentley.

Lincolnland 2010
“People are just as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
—Abraham Lincoln

Lincolnland 2010
“I do not think much of a man who is no wiser today than he was yesterday.”
—Abraham Lincoln

As the capital city of Illinois, Springfield has many important buildings and monuments with columns and colonnades—including the State Capitol building, the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) Colonnade, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

So which important building has the colonnades that are pictured above?

For the answer to that question, take a look at the next picture.

Lincolnland 2010
Walmart Supercenter, Springfield, illinois

Most of us have to settle for Walmart stores with the phrase “WE SELL FOR LESS” emblazoned upon them. The citizens of Springfield get quotes from Abraham Lincoln instead. Or, more accurately, these might be quotes from Abraham Lincoln.

Soon after the store opened in July 2008, journalist Pete Sherman, writing in Springfield’s The State Journal-Register, observed, “One of the two phrases attributed to Lincoln that run along the colonnades of the giant new store appears to be a fake.” Sherman wrote:

The quotation in question is on the southern end of the new Wal-Mart. It reads, “People are just as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Although the quote is attributed to Lincoln on myriad Internet sites and pops up in some quotation books and newspaper columns, no definitive collection of Lincoln’s speeches, documents or conversations mentions the saying.

Sherman reported that the other Lincoln quote—“I do not think much of a man who is no wiser today than he was yesterday.”—was attributed to Lincoln by Civil War-era Republican Congressman John B. Alley of Massachusetts, about 20 years after Lincoln’s death.

Lincolnland 2010
Lincoln’s Tomb (1871), Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois

Our final stop in this article is Lincoln’s final resting place. A bronze Lincoln stands above the entrance, as a 117-foot granite obelisk rises behind him. In the four corners, bronze figures represent the Civil War infantry, navy, artillery, and cavalry. The sculptor was Larkin Mead (1835-1910).

Lincolnland 2010
A cavalry soldier in the Union Army at Lincoln’s Tomb

This concludes today’s visit to Lincolnland.

Long Ago & Now: Main Street
Lincolnland, Part 1

© 2010-2015 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated May 1, 2015.

Photoshopped Lincolnland brochure: 2008-2009 by Werner Weiss, based on photos by Chris Bales and Werner Weiss, with Lincoln head artwork by Karen Weiss.
Two publicity photographs of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: © Disney
All other photographs on this page: 2007-2009 by Werner Weiss.