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Tim Townsend - Historians Speak

Tim Townsend began working at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois in 1991, and at the time of the interview served as the site's historian. He spoke extensively about the many plans that civic groups and individuals developed for the home and surrounding area during the early 20th Century. In 1967 Congressman Paul Findlay, whose district included the Lincoln home, began to champion efforts to have the federal government take over the home (then owned and operated by the state of Illinois, with adjacent properties owned by local property owners). After several years Congress passed legislation transferring the home and the project to the National Park Service, which continues to operate the site. President Richard Nixon signed the legislation in August 1971. Following that, the site underwent dramatic changes. The home went through major renovations in the mid-1950s and again in the late 1980s.

Interview Links

Feature Except-Audio

Paul Harvey Quote

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Townsend’s personal information & 19th Century story of Lincoln home

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

20th Century history of Lincoln home and National Historic Site

Related Materials

See also

See also the tour of the Lincoln home given by Susan Haake, which is in the Architectural Gems collection.


Photos

Caption

Lincoln supporters gathered outside the Lincoln home in Springfield for a political rally in 1860. Lincoln himself is dressed in white and standing near the door of the house.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1860

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

This 1925 sketch shows the proposed Municipal Group to be built around the Lincoln Home, and included the Lincoln Home and structures plus a large auditorium, as well as a new City Hall building and a number of columned memorials and museums.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1925

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

A 1925 map of the proposed Municipal Group for Springfield, Illinois, with greenways connecting Washington Park, Lincoln Park, the State Capitol, the Governor’s mansion, the Lincoln Home area, and the proposed Union Station.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1925

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Young women have left a bus and are headed toward the Lincoln Home during a school visit to the site in the 1950s.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1950's

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

This gift shop formerly stood across the street from the Lincoln Home in the 1950s.That area is now a vacant lot.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1950's

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Richard Hagen, in the pit, supervised an archaeological dig at the Lincoln Home site circa 1953.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 1953

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

An artist’s rendition of the Lincoln Memorial Center, a proposed layout for the Lincoln Home area being considered in the mid-1950s. Additions included a band shell, a souvenir shop, the Lincoln birthplace, and a statue of George Washington.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1950's

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

This model of the Civic Center plan for the Lincoln Home area dates from 1957. It included a city hall, county building, a parking garage, a civic auditorium in a geodesic dome, and a Lincoln museum with historic structures.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1957

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

A map of the Historical Sites commission’s plan for the Lincoln Home Area from 1966 included the Lincoln home and carriage house, the Corneau Home information center, extensive parking, and other restored historic homes.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1966

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

In this 1966 photo of Eighth Street in Springfield shows the Lincoln Home on the right, flanked on the left by a souvenir shop and the Corneau House, a Lincoln-period home used at that time by the State of Illinois as an information center.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1966

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

President Richard Nixon signed legislation authorizing the establishment of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, on August 18, 1971. Governor Ogilvie and Congressman Findley are in the back.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

August 18, 1971

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.)

Caption

Tom Pacha and two other National Park Service employees worked on putting up the first sign for the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in 1971.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1971

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

President Gerald Ford arrived at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site on March 5, 1976 for the dedication of the Visitor Center. He was greeted by Albert W. Banton, Jr. the first superintendent of the Historic Site.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Tim Townsend played on his high school football team, the Stockton High School Blackhawks, in 1983.

Where:

Stockton, Illinois

When:

1983

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Tim Townsend (left) and Susan Haake (right) took their photo with U.S. Representative Robert Michel and Linda Norbut Suits of IHPA during Michel’s visit to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in 1993. The home was in Michel’s district.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1993

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Tim Townsend was interviewed for a C-Span interview on the life of Abraham Lincoln in 1999.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1999

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

In 2006 Tim Townsend took a closer look of an archaeological dig of the Carrigan Lot next to the Lincoln Home.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2006

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.


Caption

Tim Townsend stands in front of the Lincoln Home in July 2008.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

July 2008

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Tim and Diane Townsend, Susan Haake and others enjoyed the night at the Abraham Lincoln Association’s Annual Banquet on February 12, 2009.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

February 12, 2009

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Tim Townsend joined Kathy DeHart, Lincoln reenactor Fritz Kline, Susan Haake and Paul Presney for the “1st Presbyterian program” in 2009.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2009

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Tim Townsend is leading a teacher workshop at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in 2009.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2009

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Tim Townsend (left), Kathryn Harris (red hat), and several young men stand in front of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot Memorial, designed by Preston Jackson, which was unveiled in August 2009.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

August 2009

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

Tim Townsend met with students and teachers from Forrestal Elementary School of North Chicago on May 1, 2013.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

May 1, 2013

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Tim Townsend was interviewed by Mark McDonald, host of the PBS series Illinois Stories, during an archaeological dig in the Jenkins Lot at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in 2014.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2014

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

Tim Townsend filmed a segment for the Illinois Youth Summit in front of the Lincoln Home in 2015.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2015

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

Tim Townsend shows a group of students from the Spirit of Lincoln Youth Leadership Academy, an employment training program for interns, around the Lincoln Home site in 2015.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2015

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Townsend (left), Titi Sai (center) and Justin Blandford (right) of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, joined several members of the Spirit of Lincoln Youth Leadership Academy dressed as Union soldiers in the visitor center circa 2015.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 2015

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.



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