Our Town offers more than Abe Lincoln history

Published 06/24 2013 06:09PM

Updated 06/25 2013 01:08PM

PETERSBURG -- It's where Abraham Lincoln lived in his 20's and met his first love. But there is a lot more that makes Our Town a Central Illinois destination. Some people think of it as a tourist town. You will see some of that, but there's a lot more than just Abraham Lincoln.

Maybe you've read about it or have even been there on a school trip. Either way, the big draw is Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site. It's the place Lincoln landed after moving out of his parents' house.

The site brings in about 600,000 visitors each year. Today you can tour log cabins and feel like you're right back in the 1800's.

But our country's 16th President isn't the only historical figure who called the place "home." In the early 1900's it was a hub for the circus. Performers from all of the major touring companies spent winters here practicing their acts in a special circus barn.

A few natives even started their own circus in town and have passed the legacy down through the generations. You'll meet a woman whose grandparents played a big part under the big top.

After soaking in all of that history, you'll probably be pretty hungry. Everyone says you have to go to Gillmore's. It's been a local staple for decades. It's known for made-from-scratch food and as a place to carry on a good conversation.

That's what keeps the dozens of regulars coming back day-after-day. Meet the owner who says it's the customers who are the best part of running his family business. You'll even see where you can stop off for a little dessert before heading back home.

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