Lincoln wayside exhibits a great addition to the community

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

As much history as there is inside the Vandalia Statehouse, tourists visiting Illinois’ oldest capitol have only been able to learn part of the story about Abraham Lincoln’s time in our community.

Now, they can learn the rest of the story, thanks to local historian Dale Timmermann and Vandalia’s Looking for Lincoln Committee.

The committee, led by Bill Donaldson, celebrated yet another milestone on Sunday, when it dedicated its 10 Lincoln wayside exhibits.

Those exhibits tell important stories about Lincoln’s time in Vandalia.

One of those exhibits tells how Lincoln’s path to the White House began when he came to Vandalia as a state representative from Sangamon County.

Another tells about how Lincoln began his battle against slavery with a piece of legislation that he introduced on the second floor of the Vandalia Statehouse.

Those stories, as well as pieces of artwork that accompany them, are the final product of countless hours expended by Timmermann.

While he was researching and writing those stories, other members of the committee were completing other tasks necessary to bring the wayside exhibits project to fruition.

With tourism being this state’s No. 2 industry, it’s important that we do everything we can to meet the needs of those who come here looking to learn the Lincoln story.

These exhibits are even more valuable right now, as city officials fight to get the doors of the Statehouse open again.

The accomplishment celebrated on Sunday is yet another example of how volunteerism benefits our community, of people giving of their free time to make Vandalia a better place to live and visit.