Road Scholar : Home
True Crime: Crooks, Gangs and Politicians

Program Number: 20587RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/30/2013 - 10/4/2013;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Price starting at: $746.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture; Political Science
Meals: 11; 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    

Join others who share your fascination for real-life crimes and explore what it is that draws so many of us to the news when major crimes occur. With investigators, authors and crime-science professionals, study the science of deception and delve into true crimes that created sensational history. Review criminal cases from both serious and lighter perspectives and pay visits to the scenes of actual crimes for a little detective work of your own.




Highlights

• Meet and share discussions with authors of books based on actual crimes, including historian Taylor Pensoneau, author of “Brothers Notorious” about a legendary family of gangsters. Reenact their Kincaid bank hold-up at the original scene and visit the courthouse where their trial took place.
• Learn little-known facts about real-life cases, including the attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln's body from its tomb and a 1958 unsolved murder in Springfield.
• Laugh and cry at some infamous politicians (yes, from Illinois) who have abused their authority.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to eight blocks.



Coordinated by Lincoln Land Community College.




Springfield (Illinois)

The capital city of Illinois, Springfield welcomes more than 1 million visitors each year, many of whom come to explore the historic sites connected to Abraham Lincoln, such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Lincoln Home and Neighborhood, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, Lincoln Tomb, and Lincoln’s New Salem.



Accommodations
Conveniently located downtown hotel. Free parking. Free shuttle from airport or train station.
Meals and Lodgings
   President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center
  Springfield, IL 4 nights
 President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center
Type: Hotel
  Description: Convenient downtown location close to historic sites. Hotel is scheduled to become a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel property with their awards program in fall 2013. Free hotel shuttle van from airport or Amtrak station (must call hotel upon on arrival). The shuttle service is free but tips are customary for the driver handling bags. Important Parking Information: Self-parking is available at a public parking garage run by the Prairie Capitol Convention Center adjacent to the hotel and is connected to the hotel on levels 1H and 2H. The parking fee is $.75 hourly or $7.00 per day (24 hours) upon exiting. Valet parking is offered for hotel guests at a fee of $13.00 daily. The parking fee is paid by the participant.
  Contact info: 701 East Adams Street
Springfield, IL 62701 USA
phone: 866-788-1860 x2175448800
web: www.PresidentAbrahamLincolnhotel.com
  Room amenities: In-room coffee maker, alarm clock, hairdryer, and ironing board. TV; 32 inch flat panel television with High Definition channels. Free wireless Internet service is available in guest rooms and the lobby area; not in meeting rooms. Must request an in room refrigerator with reservation if it is required and it will be reserved as they are available.
  Facility amenities: On-site fitness facilities including an indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, free weights and cardiovascular equipment; business office in lobby, Lindsay's Restaurant and the Globe Tavern; a gift shop for essentials and snacks; valet dry cleaning; complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and large lobby area with a fireplace and comfortable seating and tables. Free wireless Internet service is available in guest rooms and the lobby area; not in meeting rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $84.99 plus tax or best avail Based on date and room availability. Contact hotel directly at 217-544-8800 and identify themselves as Road Scholar / Elderhostel participants.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $84.99 plus tax or best avail Based on date and room availability. Contact hotel directly at 217-544-8800 and identify themselves as Road Scholar / Elderhostel participants.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
5pm You will be staying at President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
10:30am You will be staying at President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Photo ID, such as driver's license, recommended.
  Parking availability:
Hotel self-parking is available at a public parking garage run by the Prairie Capitol Convention Center adjacent to the hotel. The parking fee $7.00 per day (24 hours) upon exiting and the fee is paid by the participant.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Springfield, IL
  Nearest city or town:  Springfield, Illinois
  Nearest highway: Interstate 55 and Interstate 72
  Nearest airport:  Springfield's Capital Airport (SPI)
  From End of Program
  Location: Springfield, IL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

St. Louis, MO

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
BART Transportation
phone: 800-284-2278
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$58, each additional person $48
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

100 miles

   

Available 24/7, must make arrangements 3 days in advance, 217-789-7920 local number. BART will notify you of the pickup time at the airport terminal and estimate the arrival time to accommodations a day or 2 prior to travel.

 

St. Louis, MO

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Smart Van
phone: 877-277-6278
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$60, each additional person $35
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour and thirty minutes 

 

Distance:

 

100 miles

   

Hours: 24/7, must make arrangements 3 days in advance, local number 217-529-4806. You will be contacted with the pickup time and terminal location by Smart Van 1-2 days before travel.

 

Springfield, IL

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and CC
phone: 217-544-8800

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

6 blocks

   

Must call from the train station upon arrival for hotel shuttle service. No advance arrangements. Tipping the driver is customary but up to the participant. If a shuttle is not available, the hotel will give information on getting a taxi and reimbursement with a taxi receipt from the hotel.

 

Springfield

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and CC
phone: 217-544-8800

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10-15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

Must call from station upon arrival. No advance arrangements. Tipping the driver is customary but up to the participant. If a shuttle is not available, the hotel will give information on getting a taxi and reimbursement with a taxi receipt from the hotel.

 
Driving Directions
  From Interstate 55 to President AL Hotel I-55, traveling north or south, use exit 98, Clear Lake Ave west; travel west toward downtown and turn left on Seventh Street which is a one-way street going south. The hotel is on the left at 701 E. Adams St. on the corner of Seventh and Adams Streets. It is a red brick 12-story building with a covered canopy at the entrance.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation and overview of the program
(Monday, September 30)

Note: At the hotel



   
 Arrive To: President Abraham Lincoln Hotel
 Dinner: 5:30 PM dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Introductions, overview of the program and group crime project.
   
Accommodations: President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Theme: Crime and Criminals
(Tuesday, October 1)

Note: In Springfield today and tour by college vans.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Lecture on "The Attempt to Steal Abraham Lincoln's Body" by Jon Austin followed by a tour of the Lincoln Tomb. Visit the grounds of the Governor's Executive Mansion for a program on "Working with Inmates" with Horticulturist Harry Lewis.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Governor's Executive Mansion.
 Afternoon: Presentation on "The Shoe Box at the St. Nicholas, Illinois Governors and More” by author Taylor Pensoneau followed by some free time.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Program on “Criminology and Criminal Behavior” by Dr. David Camp, Blackburn College.
   
Accommodations: President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Theme: What Exactly Happened?
(Wednesday, October 2)

Note: In Springfield today and travel by college vans



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Lecture on "The Facts and More..." by Bruce Rushton, reporter for the newspaper Illinois Times. "The Facts as a Springboard for Fictional Crime" presented by Isaac "Marty" Morris, LLCC adjunct professor and published author.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: “Death Investigation” program with Jim Allmon, Sangamon County Deputy Coroner. Visit to the Sangamon County Coronor’s evidence/records room and St. John’s Hospital morgue followed by some free time.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Presentation on “How A Cop Thinks: Dissecting the Behaviors of a Law Enforcement Officer" by Tara Walk, LLCC Assistant Professor in Criminal Justice and Illinois State Police Trooper Jeremy Walk. Participants will get a close-up look inside Trooper Walk's fully outfitted patrol vehicle.
   
Accommodations: President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Theme: Colorful Characters and the Good Guys
(Thursday, October 3)

Note: Travel by bus in Central Illinois.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Presentation on the “Shelton Gang, Black Charlie & Others from Southern Illinois” by Taylor Pensoneau and a re-enactment of the crime (a role-playing opportunity). Travel to the site of Shelton bank hold-up in Kincaid Illinois and visit the site of the Shelton gang trial at the Christian County Courthouse.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Taylorville.
 Afternoon: Travel to the Christian County Sheriff's Department for a tour of the jail. Return to Springfield and hear Taylor Pensoneau speak on coal mining crimes and drive past several Springfield crime scenes of the past. Return to hotel for some free time.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Presentation, "Seniors in Crime Stories," by Martha Miller, LLCC adjunct professor and published author.
   
Accommodations: President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Theme: Your Turn
(Friday, October 4)

Note: At the hotel.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Wrap-up discussions; Q&A; passports and farewells.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Springfield, IL 1908 Race Riot Self-Guided Tour
A tragic series of events in Springfield's history led to the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. The story of the 1908 Race Riot and its victims is told through a self-guided, eight-marker walking tour, beginning at the corner of Seventh and Jefferson Streets.
  Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Dedicated to the life and legacy of our 16th President, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum brings together the world’s largest collection of documentary material related to the life of Abraham Lincoln. The museum, unlike any other in the U.S., features hi-tech exhibits, interactive displays, and multimedia programs as well as a reproduction of the White House as it looked in 1861. The Presidential Library is home to the world’s largest collection of Lincoln-related documents, artifacts and books, including more than 12 million items from the Illinois State Historical Library. Located at 212 North 6th Street, Springfield, IL. Hours: Subject to change, please call to confirm hours before you visit. MUSEUM HOURS: Open daily, 9am-5pm (last museum admission is 4pm). Library: 112 North 6th Street; LIBRARY HOURS: Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm Saturday and Sunday - Open for exhibit. Phone: (800) 610-2094. Admission: MUSEUM : Effective July 1, 2010. Age 16-61 $12; Senior (62 and Up) $9.00; Military (ID Required) $7.00; Students (ID Required) $9.00; Children (Age 5-15) $6.00; Children (Under 5) Free. LIBRARY: Free. Days Closed: New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. For additional information, visit www.presidentlincoln.org
  Dana-Thomas House
Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home. In 1902, local socialite and activist, Susan Lawrence Dana, hired a rising architect from Chicago to remodel her family home. This is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's best prairie houses and contains the largest collection of site-specific, original Wright art glass and furniture. Located at 301 E. Lawrence, Springfield, IL 62703. Hours are subject to change. Please call (217) 782-6776 to confirm hours before you visit. Wed - Sun. 9am-4pm. Last tour begins at 3:50pm. Visitor Center is handicapped accessible. Gift shop on site. Suggested donation - $5 for adults. For additional information, visit www.dana-thomas.org
  Elijah Iles House
This is Springfield’s oldest home, built circa 1830s in Greek Revival style by city founder Elijah Iles. The house contains period furnishings and also houses the Springfield Museum with exhibits of local history. Located at 628 South Seventh, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Open Wednesday and Saturday, 12-4 PM. Closed November through March. Days Closed: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Lincoln’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day, Pulaski Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Phone (217) 492-5929. Admission: Suggested donation - $3.00. For additional information, visit iles-house.blogspot.com/
  Executive Mansion
Home of the Illinois governor. Seven U.S. Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, have been received here. Three levels are open to the public including four formal parlors; a state dining room; ballroom; four bedrooms, including the Lincoln bedroom; and a library handcrafted from native American Black Walnut. (Mansion closed during official State functions.) Located at 410 E. Jackson Street, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 9:30am-11am & 2-3:30pm. Saturday: 9:30-11am. Phone (217) 782-6450. Days Closed: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Lincoln Birthday, Presidents' Day, Pulaski Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. For additional information, visit visit-springfieldillinois.com/Things-To-Do/Attractions/
  Illinois State Capitol
The first legislative session was held in this state capitol in 1877. The growth of the state had increased the need for more file storage and office space than the Old State Capitol allowed. Today it is the center of state government and houses the offices of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller and Treasurer, as well as the House of Representatives and Senate Chambers. Visitors can watch Illinois politics in action from balcony-level seating when the legislature is in session. (Accessible entrance at east side.) West entrance is currently closed. Located at 301 S 2nd Street, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm; Saturday-Sunday 9am-3:30pm. Phone (217) 782-2099. Days Closed: New Years Day, Presidents' Day, Easter Sun, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Admission Free. For additional information, visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com
  Illinois State Military Museum
Preserving the heritage of the Illinois National Guard, the museum is committed to collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the military artifacts associated with the citizen-soldier of Illinois. The exhibit includes rare items such as the artificial leg of Mexican General Santa Anna, a target board shot at by President Lincoln, as well as vehicles, weapons, uniforms, equipment and photographs. The Citizen-Soldier exhibit features the military experiences of famous Illinois soldiers such as Carl Sandburg, Robert McCormick, John A. Logan and Abraham Lincoln. Located at 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd. (Camp Lincoln), Springfield, IL. Hours:Tuesday-Saturday, 1-4:30pm. Other times and groups by appointment. Phone (217) 761-3910. Admission: Free. Days Closed: Monday and Sunday. For additional information, visit www.springfield-il.com/attract/military.html
  Illinois State Museum
Permanent and changing exhibits tell the story of Illinois’ land, life, people and art. The natural history hall, “Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments,” reveals the exciting changes in Illinois environments over the last 500 million years. Interactive elements, thrilling audio and video effects, life-sized dioramas and thousands of authentic fossils and specimens illustrate the processes that shaped and continue to transform Illinois’ diverse environments. The Museum Store offers a unique shopping experience with a wide selection of high-quality crafts made by juried Illinois artisans, as well as educational toys, scientific games, books and gifts. Visit the Illinois State Museum on the south side of the State Capitol complex. Located at 502 S. Spring St., Springfield, IL 62706. Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:30am-5pm and Sunday: Noon-5pm. The Museum is closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. Phone (217) 782-7386. Admission is free. For additional information, visit www.museum.state.il.us
  Lincoln Home National Historic Site
“I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington." Abraham Lincoln left his home of seventeen years (1844-1861) to serve as president of a nation on the verge of Civil War. The Lincoln home has been restored to its 1860 appearance, revealing Lincoln as husband, father, and politician. Your tour of this national treasure will be conducted by National Park Service Park Rangers. Start your visit at the Visitor Center located at 426 S. 7th Street, Springfield, IL. Hours: Daily 8:30am-5pm. Phone: (217) 391-3221. Free tickets are required and may be obtained at the Lincoln Home Visitor Center. Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. For additional information, visit www.nps.gov/liho
  Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center
A woodland and prairie garden with more than five miles of trails lead you on a journey through the Illinois landscape Lincoln would have known. Depending on the season you visit, you could discover springtime dogwoods in full bloom, colorful prairie wildflowers of summer, burnished autumn leaves, or snow-covered maple trees bursting with sap. This great spot to stroll amidst nature is located on the shores of Lake Springfield and was designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen. Be sure to visit the Garden's Nature Center and Split Rail Gift Shop. Located at 2301 E. Lake Dr., Springfield, IL 62712. Hours: Daily: Sunrise-Sunset. Nature Center: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday, 1-4pm. Closed: Call or visit the website for Holiday closings. Phone (217) 529-1111. Admission: Free. For additional information, visit www.lincolnmemorialgarden
  Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site
This beautiful monument marks the final resting place of Abraham, Mary Todd, Tad, Eddie and Willie Lincoln. (Oldest son, Robert, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.) Abraham Lincoln was buried in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery at the request of Mrs. Lincoln after his assassination in 1865. The monument was designed by sculptor Larkin Mead, completed in 1874, and paid for with public donations. The original receiving vault in which Abraham Lincoln was buried can be seen on a tour of the cemetery. Also located within Oak Ridge Cemetery are the Illinois War Memorials (World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War). The entrance is located 1500 Monument Ave., inside Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL. Hours: are subject to change. Hours: Please call to confirm hours before you visit. Nov-Feb, Tues-Sat 9am-4pm; Mar-April, Tues-Sat 9am-5pm; May-Labor Day, 7 days a week 9am-5pm; Post Labor Day-Oct 31, Tues-Sat 9am-5pm. Phone: (217) 782-2717. Admission: Free. Days Closed: Monday, Sunday, New Years Day, MLK Birthday, Presidents Day, Veterans Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. Also see: www.lincolntomb.org For additional information, visit www.illinoishistory.gov/hs/lincoln_tomb.htm
  Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
Abraham Lincoln grew to “a man of purpose and destiny” during his six years (1831-37) living and working in New Salem Village. Here, he clerked in a store, enlisted in the Black Hawk War, served as postmaster and deputy surveyor, studied law and was elected legislator. Timber houses, shops, and stores now comprise the reconstructed historic village where history comes to life as costumed interpreters take on the characters of the people who lived and worked here more than 150 years ago. Located 20 miles NW of Springfield at 15588 History Lane, Route 97, Petersburg, IL. Hours: September through April, Wednesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm; May through August, daily 9am to 5pm. Phone: (217) 632-4000. Admission: Donation suggested. Days Closed: New Years Day, MLK Birthday, Lincoln Birthday, Presidents Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. Also, www.lincolnsnewsalem.com For additional information, visit www.illinoishistory.gov/hs/new_salem.htm
  Lincoln-Herndon Law Office
Abraham Lincoln practiced law in the offices above Seth Tinsley’s store from 1843 until 1852. It was an ideal location for a rising young law firm - near the Capitol and Springfield’s finest hotel of the day and just above the local post office and Federal Courtroom. Stephen Logan (1843-44) and William Herndon(1844-52) were his partners during this time. This is the only surviving structure in which Lincoln maintained working law offices. Located at South Old State Capitol Plaza, 6th & Adams, Springfield, IL. Hours: 9am to 5pm.,Tuesday to Saturday, from the day after Labor Day to April 30; and 9am to 5pm, daily from May 1 through Labor Day weekend. Phone: (217) 785-7960. Admission: Donation suggested. Days Closed: Monday, Sunday, New Years Day, MLK Birthday, Presidents Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. For additional information, visit www.illinoishistory.gov/hs/lincoln_herndon.htm
  Old State Capitol State Historic Site
“A house divided against itself cannot stand...” These immortal words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln in the historic Old State Capitol Hall of Representatives in the turbulent days preceding the Civil War. He tried several hundred cases in the Supreme Court, borrowed books from the state library, and read and swapped stories with other lawyers and politicians in the law library. On May 3 and 4, 1865, Mr. Lincoln’s body lay in state in Representatives Hall as a crowd estimated at 75,000 filed past to pay their last respects. (Last tour 45 minutes before closing.) Located at 1 Old Capitol Plaza, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: 9am to 5pm,Tuesday to Saturday, from the day after Labor Day to April 30; and 9am to 5pm, daily from May 1 through Labor Day weekend. Days Closed: New Years Day, MLK Birthday, Presidents Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. Phone: (217) 785-7960. Admission: Donation suggested. For additional information, visit www.state.il.us/hpa/hs/old_capitol.htm
  Route 66
Get your kicks on Route 66! Thousands of visitors from around the globe travel America's Main Street each year to experience the legend of U.S. Route 66 and to discover the real America. On Illinois Route 66, one of the nation's newest National Scenic Byways, you'll actually travel through the hometown neighborhoods, not around them…including a visit to the heart of Springfield, Illinois, home of two famous Route 66 landmarks, Shea's Gas Station Museum and the Cozy Dog Drive In. Springfield sits in the heart of Illinois' U.S. Route 66 and boasts some of America's favorite Route 66 icons. Mile for mile, you'll find more authentic Route 66 sites and attractions along the road in Illinois, from Chicago to St. Louis, than in any other Route 66 state. For additional information, visit www.visitspringfieldillinois.com/Route-66/
  Springfield & Central Illinois African American History Museum
The museum features the history and culture and the triumphs/tragedies of African-Americans living in the Springfield and Central Illinois area during the 19th and 20th centuries. Located at 521 E Washington Street, 2nd Floor, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Wednesday & Saturday 10am-4pm or by appointment. Phone: (217) 528-2725. Free admission, donations appreciated. Days Closed: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday, Presidents' Day, Pulaski Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. For additional information, visit http://spiaahfmuseum.org/
  Union Square Park & Illinois Visitor Center
Union Square Park and the Illinois Visitor Center at Union Station are located directly across the street from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. The Visitor Center provides information to visitors on Springfield area historic sites and attractions and other Illinois tourism opportunities. The park has gardens, walking paths, sculptures of Abraham Lincoln and a sculptured monument to commemorate the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield. Located at 500 E. Madison, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Daily 9-5. Hours are subject to change, please call. Union Square Park is open from 8am to 10pm. daily. Phone (217) 557-4588. Days Closed: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. For additional information, visit www.presidentlincoln.org
  Vachel Lindsay Home
The 1879 birthplace of the native Springfield poet/artist, this house remained Lindsay’s only home until his death there in 1931. The house was built in the late 1840s; an early owner was C.M. Smith, whose wife, Ann, was the sister of Mary Todd Lincoln. Both Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln were frequent visitors. The house was purchased in 1878 by Lindsay’s parents, Dr. Vachel Thomas and Catharine Frazee Lindsay, and remained in the Lindsay family for 80 years. Acquired by the State of Illinois in 1991, the home recently reopened after an extensive, state-funded restoration project. Located at 603 S. 5th Street, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours are subject to change. Please call to confirm hours before you visit. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 4pm. Phone (217) 524-0901. Admission: Donations accepted. Days Closed: Monday, Sunday, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Presidents' Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. For additional information, visit www.vachellindsay.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Knight of Another Sort – Prohibition Days and Charlie Birger


Author: Gary DeNeal


Description: In 1913 Charlie Birger began his career as a bootlegger, supplying southern Illinois with whiskey and beer. He was charismatic, with an easygoing manner and a cavalier generosity that made him popular. The stuff of legend, he was part monster, part Robin Hood. In the early days, he would emerge from his restaurant/saloon in tiny Ledford in Saline County with a cigar box full of coins and throw handfuls in the air for the children. Echoing the consensus on Birger, an anonymous gang member called him "enigmatic," noting that "he had a wonderful quality, a heart of gold. There in Harrisburg sometimes he'd support twelve or fifteen families, buy coal, groceries. . . . [But] he had cold eyes, a killer's eyes. He would kill you for something somebody else would punch you in the nose for." Drawing from the colorful cast of the living, the dead, and the soon-to-be-dead—a state shared by many associated with Birger and his enemies, the Shelton gang—DeNeal re-creates Prohibition-era southern Illinois. He depicts the fatal shootout between S. Glenn Young and Ora Thomas, the battle on the Herrin Masonic Temple lawn in which six were slain and the Ku Klux Klan crushed, and the wounding of Williamson County state's attorney Arlie O. Boswell. As the gang wars escalated and the roster of corpses lengthened, the gangsters embraced technology. The Sheltons bombed Birger's roadhouse, Shady Rest, from a single-engine airplane. Both Birger and the Sheltons used armored vehicles to intimidate their enemies, and the chatter of machine gun fire grew common. The gang wars ended with massive arrests, trials, and convictions of gangsters who once had seemed invincible. Charlie Birger was convicted of the murder of West City mayor Joe Adams and sentenced to death. On April 19, 1928, he stood on the gallows looking down on the large crowd that had come to see him die. "It's a beautiful world," Birger said softly as he prepared to leave it. Hardcover: 376 pages



Brothers Notorious


Author: Taylor Pensoneau


Description: In “Brothers Notorious,” Pensoneau gives readers a long overdue book that traces the Shelton story from its unpretentious beginning in rural Wayne County to the headline-capturing violence at the tale's conclusion. Readers will find the book informative and entertaining, a resurrection of a dramatic era in Illinois history. Paperback: 310 pages



Dapper and Deadly: The True Story of Black Charlie Harris


Author: Taylor Pensoneau


Description: Pensoneau leaves no stone unturned in a complete portrait of the man credited for the downfall of the Sheltons, the legendary gangster brothers from Southern Illinois. And using FBI files, he covers from start to finish the sensational double murder that landed Harris on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list before his conviction and imprisonment for the crime. Harris rose from an obscure farm boy to a holy terror in a lifetime of crime that made him a fixture as front page news. The chapters of his intriguing life are revealed in a detailed and fast-moving narrative that leaves readers wishing the saga never came to an end. Pages: 258



Murder in Little Egypt


Author: Darcy O’Brien,


Description: The unimaginable crime of filicide takes on the cast of tragic inevitability in this haunting true tale of violence, greed, revenge, and death. Fusing the narrative power of an award-winning novelist and the detailed research of an experienced investigator, Darcy O'Brien unfolds the story of Dr. John Dale Cavaness, the southern Illinois physician and surgeon who in December 1984 was charged with the murder of his son Sean. Outraged by the arrest of the skilled medical practitioner who selflessly attended to their needs, the people of Little Egypt rose to his defense. In the trial, however, a radically different, disquieting portrait of Dr. Cavaness would emerge. For throughout the three decades that he enjoyed the admiration and respect of his community, Cavaness was privately terrorizing his family, abusing his employees, and making disastrous financial investments as well as brawling and womanizing. What was not revealed in the trial, however, was that seven years earlier, in a homicide that had never been solved, the body of Cavaness's firstborn son, Mark, had been found shot dead in the woods of Little Egypt. In addition to a compelling chronicle that uncovers the truth behind two ghastly crimes and lays bare the Jekyll–Hyde psyche of their perpetrator, “Murder in Little Egypt” brings into stark Midwestern light the hidden, Gothic underside of an America bred on violence and bathed in blood. "Stunning material," —Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney "A meticulous account ... an implicit indictment of a culture that condones and encourages violent behavior in men." —The New York Times Book Review, Paperback: 352 pages



The Devil In The White City


Author: Eric Larson


Description: Erik Larson intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction. Paperback: 447 pages



The Starved Rock Murders


Author: Steve Stout


Description: This book is a novelized account of one of the most famous historical events in North Central Illinois. Stout credits fellow Galesburg native and famous poet Carl Sandburg as his inspiration for his love of writing and appreciation of Illinois history. Stout says, “I was working at a newspaper in La Salle-Peru in the 1970s when I first heard details about the horrific crime back in 1960. Starting a personal investigation into the murders, I was surprised about how many locals did not believe the right man was convicted for the crime and was awed by the massive amount of publicity the crime received not only locally but around the entire nation. It was clearly the “O.J. Simpson” case of its day.” “After years of researching, I can come to no other conclusion in the case than prosecutors did back so long ago. I believe Chester Otto Weger committed the murders exactly the way he confessed to authorities in 1960. It was a robbery that got out-of-hand and ended with murder to prevent any identification. To this day, many people cannot accept how one man could attack, intimidate and ultimately kill three women, each of whom were larger than him. I say, go down to St. Louis Canyon to find the answer. The truth is waiting there.” Paperback: 211 pages





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