Grant will pay for Danville exhibit to honor Lincoln
DANVILLE – Just in time for the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday – today – the city of Danville has received word it was awarded a grant for an interpretive wayside exhibit by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
The exhibit is a vertical sign, about 8 feet high and 5 feet wide, and will be placed at the east side of the Kresge lot next to the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex on Vermilion Street.
"It's more than a marker. It's a story board," said Sue Richter, Vermilion County Museum director, who helped prepare information for the exhibit.
The grant will cover the majority of the cost to create the wayside exhibit.
For the exhibits, the text or story tying Lincoln to the community is submitted to the Looking for Lincoln Coalition in Springfield.
"We have a text editor and a graphic designer that puts the text and any pictures or other graphics together for the exhibit," said Sheila Blodgett of the coalition's office.
Making the language, logos and structures consistent across the communities gives them more credibility and ties them directly to the statewide project while maintaining each community's unique perspective.
"The exhibit gives us a public stamp of authenticity and allows us to be part of a larger marketing effort, while showcasing our unique Lincoln stories," said Jeanie Cooke, Danville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. "For the story, we had such good resources with our museum information."
"Being a part of a consortium of sites will benefit Danville and Vermilion County, because all will be marketed together," Cooke added. She said the sites will be linked to each other by being involved in the coalition and to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
The sign will share the role Danville and its citizens played in shaping Lincoln.
"It was here he had one of only two law offices in Illinois," said Mayor Scott Eisenhauer in a press release announcing the grant. "It was here Lincoln made his final stop in Illinois on the way to Washington, D.C., to lead our nation as its top executive officer. Our history with Lincoln and those who knew him is extensive, and it is wonderful we now have the ability to share that in a greater way to those across the state and around the nation."
Planning for a number of events is under way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth in 2009.