“where Lincoln gave his bittersweet farewell speech to Springfield”
When Lincoln left his hometown as president-elect on February 11, 1861, he paid an unforgettable tribute to his friends and neighbors known today as the Farewell Address. Lincoln gave these remarks as he boarded a special inaugural train at the Great Western Railroad station, now a private office with some public exhibit space. The old brick depot, often overlooked by visitors, is worth investigating. Located just two blocks from the Lincoln home, it was well used by Lincoln and his family, as it offered convenient passenger service. The original building offered separate waiting rooms on the first floor for men and women. Thomas Jones, a sculptor who had worked on a Lincoln bust for several weeks, remembered the day Lincoln left town: "It was a dark, gloomy, misty morning, boding rain. The people assembled early to say their last good-bye to the man they loved so much. The railroad office was used as the reception room. Lincoln took a position where his friends and neighbors could file by him in a line. As they came up each one took his hand in silence. The tearful eye, the tremulous lips and inaudible words was a scene never to be forgotten. When the crowd has passed him, I stepped up to say good-bye. He gave me both his hands -- no words after that."
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Great Western Depot
- Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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