Are you a day-tripper? Freeport worth the trip

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If you’re a history or genealogy buff, try Freeport, it’s worth the trip!

Start in Freeport’s historical downtown, at the Freeport Public Library—its genealogy room is recognized among genealogists nationwide. Maybe you can learn something new about your family’s history.

While you’re there, check out the lost Freeport Photos displayed throughout the building. Then, if you like what you see, buy a souvenir photo album that comes with a walking tour guide from the photographer’s perspective. You can compare today’s Freeport with the Freeport of yesteryear. And don’t miss seeing the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln kicking back and reading a book; it is spectacular (smaller replicas of this statuette are available for purchase).

Immediately east of the Library, you can visit the Lincoln-Douglas Debate site, where Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas debated the Freeport Doctrine and slavery—it was a pivotal event that helped launch Lincoln onto the national political stage, and set him on a course to the presidency.

While at the site, close your eyes and imagine the sights, sounds and aromas of the day; feel the excitement. Picture the train arriving with Lincoln standing on the platform, and then go next door to get some ice cream from Alber’s Ice Cream Parlor—the old Union Dairy.

Other historical and/or cultural sites of interest include the Freeport Art Museum, where you can purchase a copy of local artist Roger Hill’s Bus Tour, a collection of stories and sketches of some of the significant buildings and people from Freeport’s past. You might also visit the Stephenson County Freeport Historical Society and the Silver Creek Stephenson Railroad.

I suggest finishing your day by getting a picnic lunch from a local vendor and visiting one of Freeport’s many beautiful parks.

From the April 19-25, 2006, issue

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