Although Lincoln was a strong supporter of water transportation, most of his travels to Beardstown and elsewhere in the Eighth Judicial District in Central Illinois were by horse or buggy. If town streets were unpaved, country roads were even more rugged, mere tracks across the prairie, with very few dwellings in between. Winter journeys were especially difficult. The drawing by Beardstown artist William Barnhart shows Lincoln mounted. Because of his height, he was an awkward figure in the saddle; if the horse was not tall, Lincoln's feed nearly dragged the ground.
During his visits to Beardstown and Cass County, Abraham Lincoln most likely became acquainted with Beardstown's founder, Thomas Beard. According to tradition, Lincoln stayed at the inn Beard erected at the northeast corner of State and Main Streets, the site of the present U.S. Post Office. When he crossed the Illinois River, Lincoln would have used Beard's ferry.
The Illinois Lincoln traveled in the 1830's and 1840's was still a rugged frontier state, and Beardstown had the look of a rough frontier town. Most buildings were of wooden frame—-and often flimsy—-construction. Where existent, sidewalks were made of wood and subject to rapid deterioration. Any good rain would turn the dusty streets into nearly impassable quagmires. Horse excrement and urine made crossing the street a challenge and gave the downtown a distinctive aroma, especially during warm weather. Lincoln and his fellow Illinoisans had to be tough.
|Series||This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 2:54pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||15T E 718911 N 4432896|
|Decimal Degrees||40.01790000, -90.43490000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 40° 1.074', W 90° 26.094'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||40° 1' 4.44" N, 90° 26' 5.64" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 100-198 S State St, Beardstown IL 62618, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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