Abraham Lincoln Home, Springfield, Illinois ©Author Adventures

Literary Illinois

Illinois literary places stir emotion, with their early religious roots, their grappling with problems of racism and poverty, their notorious taverns, and the fiery historical events that motivated writers toward expression and brought them nationwide attention. The sites on the Illinois Author Adventures Trail makes it possible to experience what all this means at different stages of history from the 19th century to today.

Click any link below for author and place information.

A. Ray Bradbury, Waukegan
B. Ernest Hemingway, Oak Park
C. Studs Terkel, Chicago
D. Gwendolyn Brooks, Chicago
E. George Cleveland Hall Library (Bronzeville), Chicago
F. Abraham Lincoln, Springfield
G. Edward Beecher, Jacksonville
H. Carl Sandburg, Galesburg

More Literary Sites

Taking the north-south route of the Illinois Author Adventures Trail, travelers can add two additional literary sites worth visiting: the American Writers Museum and the Marion E. Wade Center.

American Writers Museum

This museum with exhibits focused on US literary landmarks opened in Chicago in 2017 (americanwritersmuseum.org). Though not an historic landmark itself, it can easily be added to the Illinois Author Adventures Trail for those who want to see an overall tribute to past and present American writers, as well as special exhibits and events.

Marion E. Wade Center

The Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College is another literary destination worth considering for anyone interested in archives of personal objects and writings originating with several major writers, including Owen Barfield, G.K. Chesterton, Joy Davidman, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. Wheaton is a midsize small college town situated approximately 25 miles west of Chicago.

The map of Illinois below includes the historic places listed above (A-H) as well as the American Writers Museum and the Marion E. Wade Center, which were created in more recent years.