Bryant Cottage State Historic Site Hours
March - October
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday - Sunday
November - February
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Thursday - Sunday
Hours Subject to Change
146 East Wilson
Bement, Illinois 61813
The Bryant Cottage State Historic Site in Bement is part of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and is known as the location that Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln met to discuss the famous 1858 Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Visitors can get a glimpse of what life was like when Abraham Lincoln visited the cottage.
The home was built by Francis E. Bryant, a Bement entrepreneur and friend of Stephen Douglas, in 1856. Marilyn Ayers,Manager of the Historic Site, has been giving tours, hosting events and educating visitors since July 1985.
In 2008, the site was privileged to acquire three Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits. This is the only location in the state to have three exhibits in one location. For more information regarding Looking for Lincoln, go to their website at www.lookingforlincoln.com.
Also in 2008, the Bryant Cottage State Historic Site was honored to be the site of the opening ceremony to celebrate the 150 Year Anniversary of the Douglas-Lincoln Debates.
Featured exhibits are currently on display.
"Although electricity has undeniably altered every aspect of our daily lives, in many ways it was not the mother of invention, only a means to further exploit that which already existed. Many of our daily conveniences are merely old ideas which harnessed a more efficient power source....Twelve unusual displays, each lasting one month, will introduce you to an energy source of our forefathers, an age when kerosene fueled everyday life during the late 1850s into the early 1900s. Step-back in time with us and discover a lifestyle not too distant from our own."
Calendar of Exhibits
May 2013 Everyday Household Lamps
June 2013 Specialty Household Lamps
July 2013 Household Utility: part 1
August 2013 Household Utility: part 2
September 2013 Household Utility: part 3
October 2013 Entertainment/Transportation
November 2013 Commercial Lighting
December 2013 No Exhibit During Christmas Season
January 2014 Railroad Lanterns
February 2014 Parade/Campaign Torches
March 2014 Fire Suppression Devices
April 2014 Exhibit Conclusion
*Dates are tentative and may change without prior notice. Contact the Bryant Cottage State Historic Site for scheduling at 217-678-8184.
Click here to view a map.