Monday, May 11, 2015

Lincoln Funeral Train Car Came to Charleston

Back in April of last year I was reading about the Lincoln Funeral Train 
they were building for the 150th anniversary of the death of Lincoln.
I saw where you could have the car coming to your town, and I thought
Charleston would be a great place so I sent the link to the tourism director.

I am happy to say we were the first stop after Springfield!
I spent 3 days giving tours, what a honor to be on the car.

we had 500 school children go through every day.
Dale who did alot of the interior work on the car was portraying Jonathan Hay
 who was Lincoln's secretary.

Bob started the inside of the tour

Sara Bush Lincoln was there to see her son Abraham
She spoke to the children

How about I take you through

Lincoln's coffin

handles recast of original design
attention to detail to show the original was so important.
the original car was built as Lincoln's "air force one" as we would say.
He did not want to use it until after the close of the war due to the fact so many were suffering.
His plan was after the war to travel to all the states.
He had a appointment to see it, but it was the day after he was assassinated.
So it was modified into a funeral car.

this would of been Lincoln's office area, there is even a restroom.
These chairs were donated by a family who's ancestors had a plantation
 and these chairs came from there.

the next room is a bedroom

the last room was a sitting room for Lincoln to welcome guest.
Everyday the lady who played Sara Bush Lincoln brought fresh lilacs.
This room is where Lincoln's son Willie's coffin was.
He was taken back to Springfield to be buried even though he had died 3 years earlier.

the states all had plaques lining the ceiling, this was IL

ceiling rosette, the craftsmanship was amazing
see the bee?

cousin Karen was Matilda Moore, Lincoln's step sister who lived in Charleston

oh my the lines were long
between 3-7 we saw 500 people on Tuesday and 700 on Wednesday!
we had beautiful weather
I rotated from being in our Lincoln Douglas debate museum,
to helping people on the train and taking pictures for people getting on to being in the back of the train as I am here.

the air conditioner in the Lincoln Douglas debate museum broke to Tuesday, of course!
So I moved the speakers outside and it was beautiful weather so it worked out great.
cousin Fred came and helped
Wednesday we had speakers reading Lincoln's favorite poems and excerpts from his writings.

Of course the twins were there helping and so were cousin Marty and Mary coming all the way from Indiana to help.
Many of our Charleston Riot friends from last year were there.

Diane the tourism director did a great job getting 1500 school kids through, and the Mayor was there everyday. If you remember he dressed for the Riot last year.

we had to say goodbye to our new friends,
it was sad to see the train pull away.
again a once in a lifetime memory!

If you get a chance please go!
Lincoln Funeral Car