Continuing on our tour of Abraham Lincoln-inspired roadside attractions, I now bring you a roadside attraction that portrays Honest Abe if he had been a hippie. OK, not really, but I at least think he looks kind of like a hippie here with the Abraham Lincoln The Railsplitter Statue in Springfield, Illinois.
Don’t you agree?
The Abe Lincoln rail splitter statue is a ax-wielding clean-shaven top-hat-less fiberglass statue of a young Abraham Lincoln. The roadside attraction stands tall at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Just how tall is the statue of Abraham Lincoln? It stands at 30 feet tall! (That’s about half the size of the World’s Tallest Abraham Lincoln statue in nearby Ashmore!)
Why was Abraham Lincoln called the rail splitter? This nickname originated in the Illinois State Republican Convention in 1860, later governor of Illinois Richard J. Oglesby and friend of the Lincolns’ John Hanks marched into the convention hall with two fence rails that read, “Abraham Lincoln, The Rail Candidate for President in 1860.” Lincoln had worked many jobs before landing on politics and law, including as a soldier, a postmaster, a tavern keeper, and, yes, a rail splitter. The nickname payed homage to his humble beginnings.
To celebrate his history and nickname, the Abraham Lincoln Rail Splitter statue was created in 1968 by Springfield’s own Carl W. Rinnus, and dedicated for Illinois’s sesquicentennial.
While you’re in Springfield, be sure to also head to Oak Ridge Cemetery to rub Lincoln’s lucky nose!
Abraham Lincoln The Railsplitter Statue in Springfield, Illinois
Location: Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Avenue, Springfield, Illinois 62794
Cost: Free to see.
Hours: Open when the grounds are open.
Date: July 15, 2007
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Looking for more Abraham Lincoln roadside attractions? Check out Lincoln on the world’s largest covered wagon, the Lincoln watermelon monument, Lincoln’s lucky nose, and the world’s tallest Abraham Lincoln statue!