Throughout the town of Ottawa, you might notice signs brandishing the Looking for Lincoln logo. Lincoln came to Ottawa multiple times, and now you can follow his footsteps! Stop into the Visitors Center for a pamphlet to help you follow along.
The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area was designated by Congress and then the authorizing legislation was signed by the President on May 10, 2008. It is the only National Heritage Area named for a president. The legislation designates the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition as the management entity for the heritage area. The coalition and the National Heritage Area cover the same 42 counties in central Illinois. They share a mission to preserve, interpret and promote the heritage and culture of the area, in the context of Abraham Lincoln’s life in Illinois.
They further seek to inform and educate, develop and interpret visitor- ready sites, creating a living history experience, chronicling the evolution of the area’s landscape and extending these opportunities to the largest audience possible.
By means of a thought-provoking engagement with rich stories and evocative tales of connections, the Heritage Area endeavors to explore themes
related to Lincoln the lawyer and politician, Lincoln and civil rights, the Underground Railroad, and Lincoln and the Civil War.
Under the leadership of the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, a consortium of central Illinois sites and communities with the crucial support of partners like the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the Illinois Office of Tourism, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and the National Park Service can now give visitors the opportunity to literally walk in Lincoln’s footsteps