Historic Sites in Decatur, Illinois
African American Civil War Soldiers Monument | Macon County Historical Museum
Oglesby Mansion | Millikin Homestead | Homestead Prairie Farm
Bethel School House | Paris-Springfield Road
African American Civil War Soldiers Monument
300 Block of North Water Street
About the sculpture
Titled the “African American Civil War Soldiers Monument,” this unique artwork is one of only a handful of sculptured tributes to the African American Civil War soldier in the entire United States. Commissioned by the City of Decatur, the work was designed and created by renowned artist, Preston Jackson. Jackson created several concepts for the statue and allowed the citizens of Decatur to vote to select the final design.
Macon County Museum Complex
5580 North Fork Road
Decatur, IL 62521
The Prairie Years and Victorian Era in central Illinois come to life in exhibits at the Macon County Historical Society Museum. The Prairie Village on the museum grounds is home to such historic buildings as the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced in the 1830's, a log house, a one-room school, a circa-1880 railroad depot, a smithy and a print shop.
Open year round, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Admission $2.00 per person.
Richard J. Oglesby Mansion
421 W. William Street
Decatur, IL 62523
Friend of Abraham Lincoln Richard J. Oglesby is best known both as a friend and political ally of Abraham Lincoln. Oglesby helped form the "Railsplitter Candidate" image which put Lincoln in the national spotlight during the 1860 presidential election. Oglesby was also with Lincoln when he died in 1865 and as Governor of Illinois he lead the effort to build Lincoln's Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.
The home is open to the public the last Sunday of the month from March to November from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Saturdays from June - August from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00p.m. Admission fee is $2.00.
Special tours can be arranged for motor coach groups and schools.
To schedule a group tour or school group program, please call 217-429-9422.
Banker James Millikin built this stately brick mansion in 1876, the year of the United States centennial. The fully restored landmark is known for its woodwork, elegant fireplaces, plasterwork and etched and stained glass.
Open the last Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 P.M., April through October.
Adults $2.00, Children $.50.
Homestead Prairie Farm
Rock Springs Conservation Area
3939 Nearing Lane
Decatur, IL 62521
Walk into the past to an exciting place where the days before the Civil War live on. Homestead Prairie Farm is built around the Trobaugh-Good House located at Rock Springs Conservation Area. It has been restored to let visitors explore rural life on the Grand Prairie of Illinois in 1860 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tours are available June-October from 1:00-4:00 weekends. Special tours can be arranged by appointment. Programs can be scheduled by appointment for presentation at Homestead Prairie Farm for students or other groups. Call (217) 423-7708 for further information.
Public programs and presentations take place the 1st and 3rd Sundays from June through October and are open to the public at no charge.
Step back in time into a one room country school. The name " Bethel School" has a long history in Friends Creek Township. The first Bethel School, built in the 1850's, was a log structure. By 1890, with a donation of land, the current Bethel School was built.
Bethel School House is open for tours 1-4:00 p.m. the first Saturday afternoon of each month, May through October.
Walk in the Footsteps of Abraham Lincoln on the Paris-Springfield Road
Sand Creek Conservation Area
One part of the road is now preserved and open to visitors at Sand Creek Conservation Area. You can learn a piece of Illinois history by walking in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln. At the east end of the parking area look for a large informational display which tells more of the story of this important road.