Bryant Cottage State Historic Site Added to National Register of Historic Places

Benjamin Pollard
Bryant Cottage State Historic Site Added to National Register of Historic Places
BEMENT, IL – Bryant Cottage State Historic Site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which recognizes historic places worthy of preservation. The site is recognized both as a well-maintained “hall and parlor”-type middle class home of the 1850s, and as the site of a historic meeting between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas.

“The listing is the result of years of work,” said Benjamin Pollard, site manager for the Bryant Cottage State Historic Site. “Now retired site superintendent Marilyn Ayers began pushing for a nomination years ago. The process started to pick up two years ago when Daniel Bacon, an intern in the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office, started nomination research. Intern Kara Pecoraro completed the nomination and presented it to the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council in June 2017. It was unanimously recommended to the National Register. After a review by the Keeper of the National Register within the National Park Service, Bryant Cottage was approved and listed on September 5, 2017.”

Bryant Cottage becomes only the sixth place from Piatt County, Illinois listed on the register. It joins the Robert Allerton Estate, Monticello Courthouse Square Historic District, North State Street Historic District, South Charter Street Historic District, and Voorhies Castle.

Bryant Cottage State Historic Site – managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources – is located at 146 E. Wilson Ave. in Bement, Illinois.  Bryant Cottage was built in 1856.  According to Bryant family tradition, on the evening of July 29, 1858, Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln conferred in the parlor of the house to plan the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debates.

During March through October, Bryant Cottage is open to visitors Thursday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and is open Thursday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. during November through February.

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