” ‘President-elect’ Lincoln was most entertaining . . humorous, modest and informative. Absolutely in period.” Morton Community Bank’s Hometown Community Travelers Travel Club October, 2013 luncheon at Jackson Truss Cover Bridge near Greenup, Illinois, after their visit to Lincoln’s mother’s home in Lerna, Illinois.
On October 1, forty-five members of Morton Community Bank’s Travel Club, Hometown Community Travelers left Morton on a Mystery Trip. The club’s Co-Travel Directors, Alison and Doug Robinson, had a real surprise for them. Their first stop was the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site near Lerna, Illinois. It was to this site Abraham Lincoln made several trips, the last in 1861, as President-elect, to make arrangements for the care of his step-mother, Sara, before leaving for Washington to be sworn in as our 16th President.
Following this stop, the group proceeded to the Cumberland County Covered Bridge just west of Greenup, IL, where a local Greenup caterer, Michael Saathoff, had tables and a picnic lunch set up on decking adjacent to the bridge. Just as the hungry travelers began to go through the buffet line, the group seemed to be ‘swept into a time warp,’ as President-elect Lincoln came strolling along the road on the way to see his mother.
Seeing him, Doug called over to Mr. Lincoln, asking him to join them and Mr. Lincoln readily agreed. While he graciously declined an offer to join the group for lunch, stating: “my mother expects me to arrive with a healthy appetite,” Mr. Lincoln spent a good bit of time visiting with them. The group learned Mr. Lincoln’s horse had earlier gone lame and he was thankful for the opportunity of stopping to rest and visit with, as he stated: “some good Republicans.” President-elect Lincoln was gracious enough to talk some about his thoughts and apprehensions about going to Washington and fielded several questions from the group, posed for some pictures and then continued on his way, at which point the group was swept back from the 1861 time warp into which it had been earlier transported.