SPRINGFIELD – April 23, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that 11 of the state historic sites closed late last year are reopened to the public. At the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, Governor Quinn welcomed the first visitors to the site in more than four months.
“As our children prepare for the future, it is important to teach them about the past.” said Governor Quinn. “By visiting our historic sites, families can learn about the Land of Lincoln’s rich history and support our local economies.”
Earlier this month, the General Assembly passed a $1.6 million supplemental appropriations bill to support the re-hiring of all 33 Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) employees who were laid off when the historic sites closed. The bill also merged IHPA and the Department of Natural Resources, effective July 1.
Governor Quinn praised the organizations and communities that supported reopening of the historic sites after the decision had been made to close them. They include: the City of Bloomington, the David Davis Mansion Foundation, the City of Vandalia, the Vandalia Old Capitol Foundation, and the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
The following historic sites will reopen today and most will resume a five day per week schedule:
- Apple River Fort, Elizabeth
- Bishop Hill
- Hauberg Indian Museum at Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island
- Cahokia Courthouse, Cahokia
- Carl Sandburg, Galesburg
- Dana-Thomas House, Springfield
- Fort de Chartres, Prairie du Rocher
- Fort Kaskaskia, Ellis Grove
- Pierre Menard Home, Ellis Grove
- Jubilee College, Brimfield
- Lincoln Log Cabin, near Charleston
Governor Quinn was joined by Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin; Jan Grimes, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Director; Marc Miller, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director; and Jeff Bigelow, AFSCME Council 31 Regional Director.