Abraham Lincoln, then 47, a lawyer and former congressman from Springfield, came to Sterling to speak at a rally for the Republican Party's first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont. On July 18, 1856, a twist of fate brought Mr. Lincoln to the home of Sheriff William Manahan to spend the night. He slept on a sofa with two chairs placed at its end to accommodate his long legs. In the morning, one can imagine, he graciously thanked his host and left Sterling for a speaking engagement in Chicago..... The rest is HISTORY!
In November of 2016, work began on the new Lincoln Learning Center to be built on the east side of the Lincoln- Manahan Home. Watch their Facebook page for more photos of the progress. For more details as to how Lincoln wound up at this home, its connections to the founding of the Republican Party in Illinois and the Underground Railroad stop by for a tour. The Home is open Saturdays and Sundays 1-4 pm, from April 1 through November 1. It is open other times by appointment for group tours, call 815-622-6215.