ISD road trip: Springfield, Ill.

A horseshoe is a piece of Texas toast topped with meat or veggies, piled with French fries and smothered in cheese.

Aimee Burch

This summer, the Daily has taken our readers on an incredible journey throughout Iowa. We drove to many incredible destinations, stopping or, at the very least, driving through many of our employees’ and readers’ hometowns. One of our writers even sent us correspondence from overseas in London.

But there are a few places, much closer to Ames than London, we did not visit. One of those places happens to be a place I am quite familiar with, seeing as I called it home for close to 20 years.

Springfield, Ill., is filled with history. It is the state capital and the place where our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, spent much of his life. Because of that, Springfield proudly displays his name and likeness everywhere around town.

One of these places is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Opened in 2005, it is a treasure trove for researchers, history buffs and average citizens alike. The museum features two theaters with regular showings of “Mr. Lincoln’s Eyes” and “Ghosts of the Library.” Full of special effects and interactive features, the shows tell of the purpose these libraries and museums serve as well as giving visitors insight into what life was like in the Lincoln-era White House.

The two “journeys” tell visitors of Lincoln’s pre-presidential life as a child and later Springfield lawyer and legislator as well as Lincoln’s White House years. One of the most powerful parts of the White House journey is the video “The Civil War in Four Minutes,” where visitors see the toll taken during one of our nation’s darkest times. The museum also features special exhibits depending on the time of year. For instance, at Christmas many visitors get to experience what a White House Christmas was like throughout the years.

A short walk away from the museum is the Lincoln home and Old State Capitol. Visitors can go inside the Lincoln family home, the Lincoln-Herndon law offices, and the House and Senate chambers used during this time.

No visit to Springfield is complete without stopping for a horseshoe. What is a horseshoe, you ask? It is comprised of a piece of Texas toast, with some sort of meat or sometimes veggies on top covered by a pile of French fries and drizzled with cheese sauce. Being the place where this sandwich apparently was created, Springfield knows how to make these indulgent sandwiches right. One of the more legendary places to go for a horseshoe in Springfield is D’Arcy’s Pint. An Irish pub featuring both Irish and American classics, it is one of the top places to go in Springfield. Another popular horseshoe stop is the Dublin Pub. You really cannot go wrong getting a horseshoe at either location.

While I love life in Ames and at Iowa State, Springfield will always have a special place in my heart. Enjoy this brief introduction to a great place.