Heritage area expands to 3 more key Lincoln-related sites

Abraham Lincoln

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A huge section of Illinois that honors the life and work of Abraham Lincoln and promotes tourism and recreation has been expanded.

The Lincoln National Heritage Area established in 2008 covers 42 counties across Illinois. It stretches across the central part of the state where the future president worked as a circuit-riding lawyer in the first half of the 19th Century.

Officials say the area generates $260 million in economic impact.

A law signed this week expands the area to Livingston County, to Freeport in Stephenson County and to Jonesboro in Union County.

Livingston County was part of the Eight Judicial District in which Lincoln traveled from courthouse to courthouse.

Freeport and Jonesboro were among seven stops for the 1858 debates Lincoln had with Stephen A. Douglas in a campaign for the U.S. Senate.