Lincoln’s Tomb a place to honor revered 16th president

Students visiting Oak Ridge Cemetery, in Springfield, Illinois, rub the nose of the bust of Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12, 2009, the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. File/The State Journal-Register

By The State Journal-Register Staff

The final resting place of Abraham Lincoln attracts everyone from schoolchildren to tourists to prayer groups. While children in particular may be attracted to the large bronze bust of Lincoln and want to be part of the tradition of rubbing his nose for luck, those who come are there to pay their respects to a man revered by many.

Although he was assassinated in April 1865 while president in Washington, D.C., the remains of the 16th president were returned to Springfield, which Lincoln considered his hometown. The Lincoln Monument in Oak Ridge Cemetery was erected to preserve his memory. Also buried there are his wife, Mary, and three of their four children: Edward, William and Thomas.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, the tomb is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. It was designed by sculptor Larkin Mead and is constructed of brick sheathed with Quincy granite, according to the The Lincoln Monument Association website.

Construction on the monument began in 1868, and it was dedicated in 1874. It has been rebuilt twice: In 1900-01 and 1930-31.

The Lincoln Monument Association promotes the historical heritage of the tomb — Oak Ridge Cemetery is the nation’s second-most-visited cemetery behind only Arlington National Cemetery — and three other memorials founded by private organizations honoring those fallen in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Lincoln’s Tomb is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information visit