Thursday, May 17, 2007

#204 The Land of Lincoln, Wright and Horseshoe Sandwiches

Springfield, Illinois is home to D’Arcy’s Pint, an Irish pub famous for its horseshoe sandwich, a.k.a. heart attack on a plate. (Thanks, Todd, for the Roadfood link.) Here Kelly tries the most popular version – the Buffalo chicken horseshoe – two slices of Texas toast, fried chicken, white cheese sauce, and about a pound of crinkle cut fries. Other meat choices are available, but Kelly wanted to have what everyone else was having. And the Guinness goes well with the Buffalo chicken horseshoe, don’t you think?
So fed, we’re off to what brings us to Springfield in the first place, the Dana-Thomas House. Frank Lloyd Wright started remodeling a modest Victorian home here in 1902 for a wealthy heiress. The finished product was a 12,500 square foot prairie-style home ornamented with 250+ custom art-glass windows. It’s decided. When I grow up, I want to be a wealthy heiress. The art glass windows in the Dana-Thomas House are fabulous and I’m already trying to figure out how to mix the sumac-inspired designs by Wright with the flowering dogwood of Virginia. It was here in the land of Lincoln that we learned Wright was born as Frank Lincoln Wright in 1867. Later, angered by his father, he changed his middle name to Lloyd, his mother’s family name. Who knew?
Our visit to Lincoln Land wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Though fascinated by the Mary Todd Lincoln exhibit, I gotta say my favorite part was the theatrical presentation – “Ghosts in the Library.” Showing how historical archives grant us a better understanding of the past, it was a big hit with all the kids in the audience and with me.

Kelly’s favorite part was the "Civil War in Four Minutes" video. Of course, it’s a map thing. The video devotes one second to each week of the war. The names of the major battles appear on the map at the appropriate time and the casualty count is updated constantly in the lower right of the screen. As time passed, lines representing the advance and retreat of the war fronts waved across the map. Once Sherman made it to the sea, the Confederates were sunk. According to Kelly, the story Ken Burns took 18 hours to tell is summarized nicely in 4 minutes here, with a simple map.

So, we came to Springfield with thoughts of horseshoes and Wright’s windows, but we left thinking about Honest Abe.

Yours in the LoL,

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