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Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is the name of a park in Chicago, and formerly of a park in New Orleans. Both were named after Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois began its existence as City Cemetery. In 1864, the city council decided to turn the cemetery into a park. Permission was received from all descendants to move graves with one major exception. The Couch family, who owned a small mausoleum in the cemetery, refused to give their permission. To ths day, the Couch mausoleum can still be seen, standing amidst trees, behind the Chicago Historical Society[?]. Ira Couch, who is buried in the tomb, was one of Chicago's earliest innkeepers, opening the Tremont House in 1835. Couch is not the only person to still be buried in Lincoln Park. In 1852, David Kennison, who claimed to have been born in 1736, died and was buried in City Cemetery. Kennison claimed to have been the last survivor of the Boston Tea Party. As recently as 1986, construction in the park has revealed more bodies left over from the nineteenth century.

Lincoln Park is, perhaps, best known for the Lincoln Park Zoo[?], a free zoo which is open year-round. The zoo was founded in 1868, when the Lincoln Park Commissioners were given a gift of a pair of swans. They became the first occupants of the zoo. In 1874, the swans were joined by a bear cub, the first animal purchased for the zoo. The bear became quite adept at escaping from its home and could frequently be found roaming Lincoln Park at night. The first bison ever born in captivity was born in Lincoln Park. Now, Lincoln Park Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals. The zoo includes Polar Bears, Penguins, Koalas, reptiles, monkeys, and other species totalling nearly 1,250 animals. Also located in Lincoln Park Zoo is a Burr Oak Tree which dates to 1830, three years before the city was founded. There are two sections of Lincoln Park Zoo which have been set aside for children. The first is the Pritzker Children's Zoo. The Children's Zoo contains small animals which children can pet. Zookeepers describe the animals, such as ferrets, hedgehogs, tarantulas, and their habits to children. In addition, baby animals born at Lincoln Park Zoo are kept in the Children's Zoo if their parents can not care for them for any reason. The second special area of the zoo is The Farm in the Zoo. This small farm contains pigs, cows, horses and other animals which can be found on farms. Children can feed and pet the animals. In addition, the cows are milked in public for children to see.

Near the southern end of Lincoln Park Zoo, you can rent a Paddle Boat for a spin around the Lincoln Park Lagoon. The Lagoon is surrounded by trees and offers a relaxing time (as, of course, you get your paddling exercise). kayakers and canoers also take to the lagoon and you can often see skullers as well.

Lincoln Park is known for its statuary. As you walk through the zoo and the park, you'll see many of Chicago great works of art. Just as there is a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Grant Park, there is a memorial to Ulysses S. Grant in Lincoln Park. It overlooks Cannon Drive at the south end of the zoo. The sculpture was created in 1891 by Louis Rebisso[?]. Actually, there is also a statue of Lincoln in Lincoln Park, the Standing Lincoln (1887), by Augustus Saint-Gaudens[?], the same sculptor who created the Sitting Lincoln in Grant Park. Standing Lincoln can be seen behind the Chicago Historical Society. The only other person who is immortalized by statues in both Grant and Lincoln Parks is Alexander Hamilton, the Lincoln Park statue sculpted by John Angel[?]. John Gelert[?]'s Hans Christian Andersen (1896) on Stockton Drive provides a tribute to the Danish storyteller. The Eugene Field[?] Memorial (1922) designed by Edward McCartan[?] remembers the Chicago Daily News columnist and poet who wrote "Little Boy Blue" and "Winken Blinken and Nod." William Ordway Partridge[?]'s statue of William Shakespeare (1894) provides a third great story-teller in Lincoln Park. This seated Shakespeare provides a lap for children to climb onto. A bust of Sir Georg Solti, the former conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra can be found just to the west of the zoo. Finally, a statue of John Peter Altgeld[?] (1915), the nineteenth-century Illinois Governor who pardoned the Haymarket Square rioters, can by seen just south of Diversey. This statue was created by Gutzon Borglum[?], whose name may be familiar as the sculptor of Mount Rushmore.


There was also a Lincoln Park in New Orleans, Louisiana from 1902 to 1930. It was located uptown near the intersection of Carrolton Avenue and Earhart Boulevard. It was devoted to amusements for the city's African American population. Early jazz musicians such as Buddy Bolden, Bunk Johnson, Freddie Keppard. John Robichaux[?]'s Orchestra was a regular feature here. The park also had a skating rink, and featured hot-air balloon assentions on weekends.



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