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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 26, 2006

Lincoln tourism booms in Illinois

Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. More than 140 years after David Davis helped make Abraham Lincoln famous, the state's new Lincoln museum is helping put the former home of a U.S Supreme Court justice on the map, too.

Increasing attendance at the 19th-century Victorian mansion of the longtime friend of Lincoln's is part of an effort to draw visitors to Lincoln-related sites around the state.

Now visitors to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, which opened in April, are directed to Davis' home and dozens of other Lincoln sites in Illinois.

As a result, despite worries that the Lincoln museum would drain attendance, the Davis mansion drew 46,500 visitors last year 5,500 more than in 2004 and double the number of visitors in 2002, said Marcia Young, the mansion's site superintendent.

Other sites have seen more visitors, too. Last year, as attendance at Illinois historical sites dropped 2 percent from the previous year, sites with a connection to Lincoln rose as much as 25 percent, said a spokesman for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Davis and Lincoln became friends when both practiced law in central Illinois. Lincoln appointed Davis to the Supreme Court in 1862. Davis later became a U.S. senator and made a failed presidential bid but encouraged Lincoln to run for president.

FRANCE TO SAVE ABBEY FROM MARSH

MONT-SAINT-MICHEL, France France's government has given the green light to a project to restore the tidal system around Mont-Saint-Michel, a Gothic abbey perched high on a rock off the Normandy coast.

Work should begin in mid-April, Environment Minister Nelly Olin said as he visited the historic islet, which is surrounded by quicksand at low tide and waves as the sea level rises.

The plans include removing a 19th-century causeway that has provoked a buildup of silt and salt marsh. About 62 acres of salt marsh a year are gaining on the Mont.