Congressmen Davis, Garcia introduce bill to expand Lincoln Home site in Springfield

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U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis of Taylorville and Chuy Garcia of Chicago have introduced legislation in Congress to expand the Lincoln National Historic Site in Springfield.

The bill, H.R. 3818, introduced by Davis, a Republican, and Garcia, a Democrat, is similar to a bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, on May 25. The legislation would expand the site’s boundary to include a replica of the 1844 cottage used by Abraham Lincoln and his family.

The expansion also would expand the historic site to include the nearby Iles House at 628 S. Seventh St., once the home of Elijah Iles, Springfield’s first merchant and a friend and political supporter of Lincoln, a Republican.

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Bills have been introduced in both legislative chambers to ensure the proposal receives enough support to make it into legislation that eventually heads to the president’s desk for his signature, Davis spokesman Aaron DeGroot said Monday.

Davis said in the news release: "The Lincoln Home is a vital location in the life of Illinois’ favorite son, Abe Lincoln, and a key part of Lincoln tourism in central Illinois. Our bipartisan legislation expands the boundaries of the historic site while also making needed road improvements to the site to make it more accessible to the public."

Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, also is a cosponsor of the legislation.

Garcia said places such as the Lincoln site "help us tell important stories about the history of our country and preserve the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest figures from our state. Expanding the site to include a replica of the Lincoln Home and the Elijah Iles home, the oldest structure in Springfield, will help us gain a deeper understanding of the life of President Lincoln and his family and of our own history."

The Abraham Lincoln Association is trying to raise $400,000 to build the Lincoln Cottage on a former parking lot at 617 S. Eighth St.

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June 15, 2021 at 06:27AM

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