Springfield Travel Guide

Springfield is the state capital of Illinois and owes its prominence and position to its most famous citizen, beloved former American president Abraham Lincoln. The city started out as a little pioneer settlement in 1820, and was called Calhoun after a South Carolina senator of that name.

The senator fell out of favour and, in 1832, the town was renamed Springfield just before a young lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, decided to make the frontier town his home. Soon after he had settled in, Lincoln decided to up the town's status to state capital, a legislative effort that he seemed to accomplish without too much trouble. To this day, Springfield retains its status as state capital, even though Chicago in northern Illinois is the state's economic powerhouse.

The civil war brought some economic benefits to the town, with new industries opening. Springfield became an important link in the state railway system as well. Today the city has a thriving economy and tourist trade thanks to having been Lincoln's home town.

It's also well located midway between Chicago and St Louis on historic Route 66. The city has retained its small-town charm and is an interesting tourist destination, where there are a number of worthy museums and galleries.