About Us

Looking for Lincoln

The Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition (LFLHC) is a consortium of Illinois communities and sites that share the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The purpose of the coalition is to tell the stories about Lincoln unique to each site and each community. But Lincoln history alone is not enough. The Lincoln stories must be shared in a creative way. So, in order to create a real visitor experience each site in the LFLHC program must offer some level of interpretive programming. While focusing upon Lincoln, the coalition also encompasses the rich history of each participating community in order to create a broader context for Lincoln and his times. 

The participating communities and sites are not only linked to each other, but are also tied closely to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. The Looking for Lincoln program makes it possible to extend the reach of the Library and Museum so that the museum exhibits are just the beginning of the Lincoln adventure. We want visitors to actually go to the real places where Lincoln spent time. 

Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area

The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area was enacted by the Congress and signed by the President on May 10, 2008. The legislation designates the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, a nonprofit 501c3 corporation, to manage the national heritage area. Abraham Lincoln National Heritage AreaBoth the coalition and national heritage area cover the same 42 counties of central Illinois and share a mission to preserve, interpret and promote the heritage and culture of the area, in the context of Abraham Lincoln’s life in Illinois. We seek to inform and educate, develop and interpret visitor-ready sites, create living history experiences, chronicle the evolution of the area’s landscape and extend these opportunities to the largest audience possible. 

The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, the only heritage area named for an American President, is home to a very unique collection of American history, surrounding America’s most revered President. It is most closely focused on the 30 years Lincoln lived in central Illinois, raising his family and pursuing his passion for the law and politics. During this time, we now know he was unwittingly preparing himself to become the President who would hold the Nation together during a time of unprecedented challenges, that of a Civil War, requiring enormous courage to save the Union and bind its wounds, while trying to cleanse the scourge of slavery from our national culture. He was ultimately successful in his objective but gave his “last, full measure of devotion” at Ford’s Theatre in 1865. We now believe that his journey is our enduring legacy.

View our Management Plan and Executive Summary.

For more information contact:
Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition
Mail: #1 Old State Capitol Plaza
Office: 209 S. 6th Street
Springfield, IL 62701

Looking For Lincoln Heritage Coalition

To be the voice for the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.

The Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition is a not for profit organization dedicated to
working collaboratively with local, state, and national partners across the
Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area to tell the quality stories of
Abraham Lincoln's life and times to provide high quality experiences for
visitors, economic opportunities for communities and to improve the quality of life for residents.

- developing and overseeing projects/programs;
- coordinating participation and work of partners;
- applying Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area guidelines,
criteria and standards to the work of the communities and partners.


Executive Director: Sarah Watson
Project Manager:  Heather Wickens
Business Manager: Jeanette Cowden