Historic Attractions

Attractions in and around Charleston

Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site
South 4th  Street / 402 South Lincoln Highway Road, Lerna, IL 62440
(217) 345-1845

Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site was the 1840s home of Thomas and Sarah  Lincoln, father, and stepmother of our 16th president. The site includes a working, living historical farm developed around a two-room cabin. A second farmstead, the Stephen Sargent Farm, has been moved to the site to help broaden visitors’ understanding of the 1840s rural life in Illinois.  Check the website for a current calendar of events. Special group tours are available by appointment.

Thomas Lincoln Cemetery
South 4th Street / off of South Lincoln Highway Road, Lerna
(217) 345-1845

Many visit this cemetery to see the burial site of Abraham Lincoln’s father and stepmother, Thomas Lincoln and Sarah  Lincoln.
Moore Home State Historic Site
South 4th Street/ South Lincoln Highway Road, Lerna
(217) 345-1845

Located just one mile north of Lincoln Log Cabin, the Moore Home is the 1860s home of Abraham Lincoln's stepsister, Matilda Hall Moore and the location of President-elect Lincoln’s last visit with his Coles County family on January 31, 1861.

Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum
126 E Street  
(217) 348-0430

Retrace the senatorial debates of 1858 between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in this unique museum. The museum offers exhibits and interactive displays that tell the debates’ story through film, audio selections, artifacts and photos. The museum includes a children’s hands-on area. Special group tours are available by appointment. 

Downtown Square
7th and Jackson Avenue
(217) 348-0430

Charleston’s Downtown Square has been the site of the Coles County seat since 1835. As a young lawyer, Abraham Lincoln practiced law in a previous version of the courthouse. Today, the late 19th-century Romanesque courthouse sits at the center of the square. Historic buildings display stunning architectural details and serve as home to current professional offices, unique shops, and restaurants.

Charleston Riot Historic Marker
Courthouse Square

The Civil War spread to Charleston when a face-to-face encounter took place between southern sympathizers called “copperheads,” Union soldiers and citizens who favored the Lincoln Administration. An artistic mural of the rendition can be seen one block west of the Historical Marker at the corner of 6th Street and Jackson Avenue.
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue

Eastern Illinois University, home to the EIU Panthers, is well known for its excellence in academics, the arts, and athletics. Founded in 1895, the beautiful campus provides diverse architectural styles that reflect the university’s history. 
Five Mile House 
5 miles South of Charleston on Illinois Highway 130
(217) 348-8603
Built around. 1840 with a Civil War era kitchen addition, the restored and furnished house received its name because it sits exactly five miles southeast of the Coles County Courthouse in Charleston.

Greenwood School Museum
 9th and Hayes Avenue
(217) 345-2934

This authentic one-room schoolhouse offers visitors a look at how education was taught from 1895-1945.  Special group tours are available by appointment.

Old City Cemetery and Chambers Cemetery
Corner of Madison and ‘E’ Street 
(217) 348-0430
Discover the graves of Charleston’s earliest residents among which include Lincoln’s extended family, local friends, and victims of the 1864 Charleston Riot. The cemetery sits across the street from the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum.