Springfield is the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County. The city’s population of 116,250 as of the 2010 U.S. Census makes it the state’s sixth most populous city. It is the largest city in central Illinois.
The capital is centrally located within the state. The city lies in a valley and plain near the Sangamon River. Lake Springfield, a large artificial lake owned by the City Water, Light & Power company (CWLP), supplies the city with recreation and drinking water. Weather is fairly typical for middle latitude locations, with hot summers and cold winters. Spring and summer weather is like that of most midwestern cities; severe thunderstorms may occur.
Springfield has a humid continental climate and experiences typical mid-latitude weather. Hot, humid summers and cold, rather snowy winters are the norm.
Springfield is known for some popular food items: the corn dog is claimed to have been invented in the city under the name “Cozy Dog”, although there is some debate to the origin of the snack. The horseshoe sandwich, not well known outside of central Illinois, also originated in Springfield. Springfield was once the site of the Reisch Beer brewery, which operated for 117 years under the same name and family from 1849 to 1966.
The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop in Springfield still operates what it claims as the first U.S. drive-thru window. The city is also known for its chili, or “chilli”, as it is known in many chili shops throughout Sangamon County. The unique spelling is said to have begun with the founder of the Dew Chilli Parlor in 1909, due to a spelling error in its sign. Another interpretation is that the misspelling represented the “Ill” in the word Illinois. In 1993, the Illinois state legislature adopted a resolution proclaiming Springfield the “Chilli Capital of the Civilized World.”
Springfield is dotted with sites associated with U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who started his political career there. These include the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, a National Historical Park that includes the preserved surrounding neighborhood; the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site, the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, the Lincoln Depot, from which Abraham Lincoln departed Springfield to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.; the Elijah Iles House, Edwards Place and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Near the village of Petersburg, is New Salem State Park, a restored hamlet of log cabins. This is a reconstruction of the town where Lincoln lived as a young man. With the opening of the Presidential Library and Museum in 2004, the city has attracted numerous prominent visitors, including Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the actor Liam Neeson, and the Emir of Qatar.
Although not born in Springfield, Lincoln is the city’s most famous resident. He lived there for 24 years. The only home he ever owned is open to the public, seven days a week, free of charge, and operated by the National Park Service.
Springfield has the area’s largest amusement park, Knight’s Action Park and Caribbean Water Park, which is open from May to September. The park also features and operates the city’s only remaining drive-in theater, the Route 66 Twin Drive-In.
|Country||United States of America|
|Currency used||U$ Dollar|
|Area (km2)||171.91 km2|