According to The State Journal-Register, a recent report from the National Park Service notes that $13.8 million were added to the capital city’s local economy in 2015 from visitors to the Lincoln Home Historic Site. There were a total of 233,296 visitors in 2015 alone. Local site attendance was up 18 percent, possibly due to it being the 100th anniversary of the park service, along with lower gas prices making for easier travel.
The Lincoln Home was the third most visited site in the Springfield area last year, behind Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, which had about 358,000 visitors, and then the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which drew more than 303,000 visitors.
The Lincoln historical sites are just a few of many sites in Illinois that help generate revenue. According to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, there are at least 56 historic sites in Illinois, ranging from U.S. Grant’s Home in the Northwest, the Douglas Tomb in the Northeast, the Dana Thomas House in Central Illinois, Cahokia Mounds in the Southwest, and the Lincoln Trail Memorial in the Southeast region.
Historic places stimulate revenue-generating tourism and traffic throughout Illinois. Senate Republicans on the Historic Preservation Caucus have driven recent efforts to highlight the importance of keeping these sites open, as lawmakers continue to work toward bipartisan solutions for the budget impasse.