President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated 149 years ago, and the Ohio Statehouse’s Luke Stedke tells Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles a reconstruction of Lincoln's funeral train will be on display this month.
Stedke says 50,000 people came to the Ohio Statehouse to pay their respects to former President Lincoln when his body was laying in state in the building’s rotunda. Stedke explains a replica of the engine that powered the train that carried Lincoln’s body from Washington, D.C., to his burial plot in Illinois will be on display.
This is made possible by the Lincoln Funeral Train Project, which is a privately funded venture to reconstruct the funeral train that carried Lincoln’s body on this historic journey.
STEDKE: "It was a cataclysmic event. Two weeks after the American Civil war ended with six percent of the population killed or wounded the president of the United States is killed. And it really defines the United States as Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated. It really was a defining moment in the history of United States."
INGLES: "And this train allowed what to happen?"
STEDKE: "Basically public mourning. It started in Washington D. C. and crisscrossed around the east and then came west. So there was only two official stops in the state of Ohio. The first was in Cleveland and then here in Columbus, Ohio."
INGLES: "Will this be at the Statehouse or will it be down on the train tracks near the Statehouse?"
STEDKE: "The engine on April of this year, 2014, will be on High Street side of the Statehouse on a flatbed. And then in 2015, it will also be on a flatbed but they're hoping to come back in the summer of 2015 and have people be able to buy tickets to ride it."
Correction: An earlier version of this headline did not make clear that a funeral train replica -- not the actual train -- will be on display.