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Home About Bement Parks, Recreation and Historical Tours Bryant Cottage State Historic Site

Bryant Cottage State Historic Site

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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.

The Bryant Cottage State Historic Site is open Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. from March through October and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from November through February although days and times are subject to change. Annual events include a ham and bean lunch on Bement's homecoming, Old Glory Festival second Saturday of every June, Heritage Sunday and Ice Cream Social every July, a holiday open house in December, and they have also hosted a military timeline and other Lincoln related events. For more information visit the cottage at 146 East Wilson in Bement, Email Marilyn at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 217-678-8184. Programs for all ages are encouraged.

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.








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This website is managed by the Bement Area Chamber of Commerce.  This website is sponsored by:

Piatt County Nursing Home
State Bank of Bement
Bement United Methodist Church

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