With Friday's limited-release opening of Hollywood's latest take on the sixteenth president of the United States' life, some Illinois landmarks are getting ready to play host to a new crop of visitors interested in learning more about Abraham Lincoln's formative, pre-Washington years.
The Travel Trade Gazette reports that in Springfield, where Lincoln lived from 1837 to 1861 and is buried, tourism officials are expecting a considerable increase in tourist interest.
Jeff Berg of the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau described Springfield as pivotal to the president's development into the widely-celebrated figure we know today.
"Springfield is the only place where Lincoln ever owned a home. It’s where he was educated and where he became a man," Berg told the Gazette.
Among the local Lincoln-centric attractions in Illinois' capitol is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which contributed considerable research to the Steven Spielberg-directed film.
James Cornelius, curator of the museum's Lincoln Collection, told WJBC that he spent about a half-day with the film's lead, Daniel Day-Lewis, in Springfield as they discussed various details of Lincoln's dress, mannerisms and style of speech. He also spent time reading old letters Lincoln had written.
Day-Lewis also spent time at the Old State Capitol and Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices during a discreet one-day trip to Springfield in November 2010, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The film also has a Chicago connection. Though no filming of the feature was done in Springfield, part of the feature was filmed in the Windy City.
The Chicago History Museum also played a role in the film's development. Spielberg came to the museum some years ago to tour a Lincoln-centric exhibition, according to the Tribune. Joanna Johnston, the film's costume designer, also stopped by the museum to view historical photos and inspect period clothing of both Abraham and wife Mary Todd Lincoln, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Learn more about Lincoln via these images, courtesy of the Chicago History Museum. Obtain a reproduction or access other information additional information about the images: