Jacksonville, IL is filled with historical landmarks that tell some of the most important stories of American history.
It’s an unheralded trip through our country’s development and progress. Visually striking, landmarks in Jacksonville appeal to all ages and interests. If you’ve been struggling with vision issues, set an appointment with a Jacksonville optometrist soon. You do NOT want to miss out on seeing history:
1. Lincoln and Slavery Mural
Jacksonville actually has 10 total murals that can be found in the downtown area. Each has historical significance (and stands as an enduring piece of art). The Lincoln and Slavery mural, in particular, is powerful. It depicts Lincoln speaking out against slavery to a gathered, attentive crowd. The mural beautifully captures this moment on the side of a building on South Sandy Street near the Downtown Square. When your eyes take in this mural, you’ll be swept up by the fine detail and backstory of this important moment.
2. Big Eli Ferris Wheel
Did you know that Jacksonville manufactures Ferris Wheels? You do now. W.E. Sullivan was enamored with the Ferris Wheel when he witnessed it in action at the Colombian Exposition. Upon returning to Jacksonville, he decided to get into the business. His first Wheel, named ‘Big Eli #1’ can still be seen in town today. It’s a treasured piece of Americana and an impressive illustration of a man following his passion until realization. It’s difficult not to be charmed when you lay your eyes on it.
3. Bandstands in Community Park
Pro tip: if something finds a spot in the Smithsonian Institution, it’s worth seeing. That’s where one of Jacksonville’s bandstands went on temporary vacation before being returned to town. Prized for their Victorian flair, the bandstands in Jacksonville are a symbol of grandeur from a bygone era. Unique paint and color combinations and timeless construction make this Jacksonville landmark perfect for anyone with an eye for detail.
4. Woodlawn Farm
Woodlawn Farm is one of many sites in Jacksonville where the Underground Railroad operated. Woodlawn Farm, now, stands as the visual representative in Jacksonville for that significant moment in history. In addition to artifacts and period pieces that try to help illustrate and explain what life was like for former slaves coming through Jacksonville on their way to freedom, the structure itself played a key role in the network. There is much to see and much to reflect on.
5. Charters of Freedom
While this is about landmarks in Jacksonville and not landmarks in Washington, D.C., this entry could apply to both. The Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, and Bill of Rights are faithfully recreated and displayed in Jacksonville in the same manner as they are in the National Archives. If you haven’t been to Washington D.C. or aren’t planning to, this is an alternative way of gazing upon our country’s foundational documents in all of their rightful glory. It is a must-see.