Elijah Iles House

Elijah Iles House, Springfield: Address, Phone Number, Elijah Iles House Reviews: 5/5

Elijah Iles House
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64 within 6 miles
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
22 reviews
Excellent
17
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Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,645 contributions
Jun 2015 • Couples
The Elijah Iles House at 628 South 7th Street often is overlooked when visitors come to Springfield to explore the more publicized Lincoln historic sites. But Iles, one of the founding fathers of Springfield, had as much to do with Lincoln's rise as anyone else. Iles, an American businessman, pioneer and politician, settled in Springfield in 1821, opened the first store in the town, was the town's first postmaster, was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1926 and served through 1834, built the largest hotel in the state and built his home in the late 1830s. It remains the oldest surviving home in Springfield. Most importantly, Iles was a close friend of Abraham Lincoln. He served as a Captain in the Black Hawk War and Lincoln was one of the soldiers in his unit. Later, he helped Lincoln secure the move of the state capitol from Vandalia to Springfield. After his death in 1883, he was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, where Lincoln is buried. On display in the museum in the lower level are photographs of Lincoln's 1865 funeral, taken in Springfield. The exhibit consists of 20 photographs. Admission is free and open to the public though the end of December. The house has passed through a succession of owners. In 1993, the city of Springfield purchased the house and the Elijah Iles House Foundation was created to restore and preserve the building. After a seven-year period of fund-raising and restoration, it was opened to the public in 2005. The Iles House is considered a timber framed raised cottage in the Green Revival Style with southern or French influence. The house's siding is of black walnut, sawn and hand-planed, using machine-cut nails. The original roof consisted of hand-rived walnut and oak shingles Today, the house has new cedar shingles. Inside, the original walnut woodwork including fireplace mantles is intact and has never been painted. The graceful staircase also is original. It is fascinating to imagine that Lincoln was a frequent visitor to the house, having walked from his house only a few blocks away.
Written June 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Therese H
Memphis, TN273 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
My family and I arrived just in time to see "Mr. Lincoln" walking a small group of visitors from the Lincoln Home National Historic Site to the Elijah Iles House. We caught up to their walking tour on the way to the House.
"Mr. Lincoln" was a delight as he talked to us about the town and our destination: The Elijah Iles House. Once inside, we proceeded to the lower level for a talk about historical events during his Presidency-- in character! The staff even provided refreshments (cookies and lemonade) while we sat and listened.
"Mr.Lincoln" graciously posed for pictures with me and my family. What a delightful experience!
Written September 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carol F
Decatur, IL110 contributions
Apr 2012 • Friends
This was the best tour of a historical home, you could possibly ask for. It is a spacious, beautifully restored home, that was the first in Springfield. I thought the portrait above the fireplace looked like Wayne Newton of Las Vegas fame. I bet they were related somehow.

Our tour guide was a very educational, informed, gentleman, and was very enthusastic, and passionate about the history of this home. He knew the small details and pointed them out to us. It made us feel like we were somehow in an inner circle of knowing the past secrets of the home and it's owners. He explained the porch ceiling was painted blue, because it kept the wasp from boring in the wood and building nest. The wasp thought it was the sky. Wow I didn't know that. Then he showed us the basement and a wonderful museum of the Illinois Watch collection and history. This man was extremely intresting and made this one of the best tours I have ever been on. There was a lot more to tell, but I'll let you find out for yourself. DO IT.
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Written April 16, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mj B
Athens11 contributions
Dec 2012 • Friends
A friend volunteers giving guided tours of this quaint family home of Elijah Iles and his connection to Abe and Mary "Todd" Lincoln and many influential statesmen that visited this home.
Written November 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Clarence D
Louisville, KY306 contributions
Jul 2016 • Couples
We decided to visit here after we found that another place was closed. It was a great choice. When we got there Mr. Lincoln had just started talking about Gettysburg We sat in on it and were very impressed with the talk. The impersonator, Fritz, was fantastic. He resembled Lincoln more than any we have seen. Right down to the mole on his right side. He does this at many of the Lincoln sites during the week. There is a brochure with the times and places. Our tour guide was Larry. What a wealth of info. We must have been there for at least 3 hours. Not only did he talk about Lincoln and the place we were visiting but he talked about many other things and we added a lot to the conversation. We then went downstairs to see the clock/watch exhibit. The person putting it on, Farrell Gay, was there and we got a lot of info. On our way back to our camper we happened upon the old Illinois watch factory he had told us about. This is a must stop for anyone visiting Springfield, Il.
Written July 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lois42
71 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
This is one of the few old homes that you walk into and everything is just as it was when it was built. The floors are original and even the door knob/lock/key is original.
Written August 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LovesTravel524
Rockford, Illinois, United States27 contributions
Aug 2013 • Solo
I happened on this house at 3:30 on a Saturday, and was I lucky! I was the last tour, so I got a wonderful and informative tour! This house belonged to one of the founders of Springfield, and I believe it may be the oldest house in Springfield. The house has been moved twice and the stories of those moves are fascinating!
Written August 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Diana N
Terre Haute9 contributions
Jul 2013 • Family
There was a strawberry fest in the back yard during our walk to this house. And the son of one of the former owners of the house was on our tour - making it really special. The house was literally moved across town - that must have been something. The house has such ornate features and is something to see. Again - FREE - The strawberry daiquiris we purchased (donations) at the Fest were out of this world - it was hot on this day & I don't care for alcohol but I drank two of these babies. Very little alcohol in them. Awesome.
Written July 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steven G
Centralia, IL60 contributions
May 2013 • Friends
Very enjoyable "first" house of Springfield & accompanying museum. Tour guides are very knowledgeable. Camp Butler Exhibit in the lower level was unique and educational. A short walk from Lincoln's home.
Written June 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tony T
Taylorville, IL29 contributions
Sep 2012 • Family
The tour guide was very informative, and the house was wonderful. They have photographs of when the house was moved to its current location and my daughter was fascinated by how they did it. The watch museum in the basement was VERY interesting, and if you have an old watch, they can authenticate it for you! The tour is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.
Written October 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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