Friday, July 7, 2017

Metamora Courthouse, a Step Back in Time


metamora herald split log


Metamora Courthouse is one of two preserved courthouses on the former Illinois Eighth Circuit where Lincoln practiced law. Hard to believe that President Abraham Lincoln actually practiced law right here in our little village. Lincoln handled more than 70 cases here, including two murders and two cases of fugitives from slavery. I only just recently was able to take a look around the courthouse, and I was so glad that I did because it felt as though I walked into the past. 

The first room I walked into was full of antiques. Clothing, guns, a harpsichord, and a log that was not split by Abe himself. With so much memorabilia in one room, I was captivated and found it difficult to not to get lost in all the nostalgia. There is a small scale model of what I am assuming is the White House, with cute little furnishings and dolls of Abe and Mary Todd. Next to the model house was a glass cabinet full of old tools and as I looked around the room I realized there were several other cabinets filled with these items along the walls. The clothing in the room was classic, vintage and beautiful looking. As I neared towards the end of the room I came across a beautiful antique loom.

In the hallway, there is another harpsichord and an old telephone operator machine. This machine was not invented until 1878 and Lincoln were long gone at that time, but I am guessing the machine was quite useful when the courthouse was being used in the past. There are also many black and white photos of early Metamora and some other historical artifacts. Then up the stairs on the top floor is the restored courtroom and judges/jury chambers. The room is set up like the courtroom originally was used. There are benches for the audience, tables for the lawyers, and a judge's bench at the back of the room. 


metamora herald

The knowledge that Abe was here practicing law right there in that very room was confirmed for me. The room seemed to be filled with the spirit of the law and I was more than thrilled to see it. It truthfully inspired me to look up more history on this courthouse and the town. For instance, did you know there was once a jail here that is now a house? Metamora is full of interesting historical facts. Go to Metamora Association for Historical Preservation site to read more. 




Sources: http://www.historicmetamora.com/MetaHist.htm, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamora_Courthouse_State_Historic_Site

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