Lincoln's Carriage Maker
Lincoln brought his buggy to Obed Lewis for servicing at his shop on the north side of Monroe Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets.
When Lincoln first arrived in Springfield riding a borrowed horse he wondered at the "great deal of flourishing about in carriages" he saw here. Eventually he could afford to buy his own. A lawyer friend recalled that Lincoln's blacksmith-made buggy was "a most ordinary looking one." Maintenance included occasional tire and floor repairs, repainting, and "oiling" the carriage top. The year before he ran for president, Lincoln had Lewis hang new interior silk curtains by glass hooks to the edge of the carriage roof. Lincoln also purchased a $7.00 wheelbarrow from Lewis and a $30.00 sleigh for winter transport. In 1852 Lincoln had Lewis replace his old buggy with a new carriage for $260---but a week later he brought it back for repairs! The next day he exchanged his new carriage for yet another. Even Lincoln it seems was not immune to buying an occasional "lemon."
The American House Livery Stable was on the Southwest corner of Seventh & Monroe Streets. Here guests at Springfield's most prestigious hotel boarded their animals while visiting Springfield. The workshop of Lincoln's carriage maker, Obed Lewis, is in the foreground. A photograph from the 1890's (right) shows Obed
Horses were an important part of Lincoln's Springfield world. Horses provided locomotive power, carrying riders, pulling wagons and carriages---and producing manure that often piled up around the stables. Flies abounded and the stench could at times be stifling. One-in-twenty of Lincoln's neighbors worked with horses for a living, as teamsters, saddlers, wagonmakers, horse dealers or liverymen. In town it was illegal to "gallop" a horse. An ordinance also forbid flying kites in the city for fear of spooking horses. "Putting a stallion to a mare" brought a $5.00 fine for "indecent exhibition of horses." Lincoln used city hay markets instead of gas stations; carriage shops instead of auto repair garages; stables instead of parking lots. He didn't have to buy licenses or liability insurance.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 47.946′ N, 89° 38.785′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on South 7th Street just south of East Monroe Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62702, United States of America.
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Categories. • Animals • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 5, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 531 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 5, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.