Kids-yes, elementary age and up
For those honoring the fallen this Memorial Day I can't think of a better way than reminding ourselves of the great sacrifices made and contemplate, or learn, a little history
Everyone has seen images of the great Lincoln Memorial either in person or on TV or in pictures. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC was dedicated on this day, May 30, in 1922. Not as many know or have seen the shrine in Redlands. The Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands, CA was conceived by Mr. Robert Watchorn, a self-made immigrant. At eleven years old Robert Watchorn began his career as a coal miner in England, working long hours for pennies, until he emigrated. Following Lincoln's example of education and hard work he became a wealthy man, giving much back to the community. As a great admirer of President Lincoln, when Watchorn acquired the means he began collecting books and artifacts from Lincoln's presidency.
Later he was to share this passion with his only surviving son. His son fought in World War I, returning home a hero and earning a commendation. However, the poor conditions took a toll on his health and Mr. Watchorn's son was to pass away at the age of twenty-five. As both a memorial to his son and to show his deep love for his adopted country and the admiration for Lincoln he shared with his son the Lincoln Shrine was born.
The Lincoln Shrine is a beautiful little museum dedicated to teaching us about Abraham Lincoln and The Civil War. Here you can find many of Lincoln's writings, as well as letters and writings from other notables, such as Sherman. Other interesting artifacts include a cannonball, medical instruments of the time, and a tambourine.
A timeline running across the top of the room gives a thorough overview of the war from beginning to end. Also included in the exhibit is information on the assassination of Lincoln. Find a poster from the play as well as photos of the presidential funeral.
Bring your smart phone. QR codes can be found all around to gather more information on many subjects. For students studying the period this little museum is a great resource. The Lincoln Memorial Shrine is open from 1-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday and closed Monday. Group tours can be scheduled in the mornings by calling. There is no cost to visit this beautiful shrine. They only ask for donations.
Across the park from the shrine is the A.K. Smiley Library, a lovely building full of stained glass windows. This is a city library and unless you live inside the city limits they charge a yearly fee to use their services. I recommend a stroll through the building to admire the windows and lovely architecture while visiting.