The Rockford Register-Star provides the full list:
- Cahokia Courthouse, Cahokia: The site will close Oct. 1 but will open on a limited basis for special events. It is currently open five days per week, and had 8,414 visitors in 2007.
- Fort de Chartres, Prairie du Rocher: The site will close Oct. 1 but will open on a limited basis for special events. It is currently open five days per week, and had 38,100 visitors in 2007.
- Fort Kaskaskia and Pierre Menard Home, Ellis Grove: These two sites, including the campground at Fort Kaskaskia, will close Oct. 1. These sites are currently open five days per week, and had 23,086 visitors in 2007.
- Vandalia Statehouse, Vandalia: The site will close Oct. 1 but will open on a limited basis for special events. It is currently open five days per week, and had 31,690 visitors in 2007.
Of course, it would be remiss if I didn't point out that there were already seven IHPA-owned historic sites in the region without any staff.
- Old Slave House - Purchased in 2000, never been reopened.
- Shawneetown Bank - State Bank of Illinois built in 1840, purchased by the state in 1946 and never been fully opened to the public.
- Old Rose Hotel - Oldest hotel in the state. First section built in 1812 following the New Madrid Earthquakes. Now operated as a concessionaire-leased bed and breakfast.
- Buel House - Golconda. Maintained and opened occasionally by the Pope County Historical Society.
- Kincaid Mounds - Brookport. Only recently have we had a viewing platform, site interpretation and a parking lot.
- Halfway Tavern - Marion County.
- Lincoln Trail State Memorial - Lawrenceville. Monument honors Lincoln and his family when the moved into Illinois. Luckily the National Park Service which operates the George Rogers Clark Memorial across the Wabash River at Vincennes, Indiana, comes over and mows the grass. It's currently getting a $19,700 facelift.
The only sites left are Cahokia Mounds in the MetroEast which will stay open 5 days a week.
Randolph County has an unemployment rate right now of 8.4 percent last month. It doesn't need to lose another 61,000 visitors-plus that go to these historic sites, two of which pre-date the American Revolution.
Likewise Fayette County too suffers an 8.4 percent unemployment rate and could have greatly benefited from 31,000-plus visitors coming to the state's third capitol building over the next 12 months while the nation celebrates the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Ironically, while most Lincoln sites were spared, this is one that wasn't and Lincoln served as a state representative in Vandalia.
These cuts aren't surprise. We've been warned they were coming all summer.
While this is obviously political, politics aside, the decline in funding and staffing has been an issue for the last three governors.
My only question is when is the state going to start looking at alternatives. Placing chains across a gate isn't a legitimate answer. It's just another problem that needs to be overcome.