Join us at 10:30 a.m. for “Third Saturday Storytime at Bryant Cottage.” Featuring the reading of a historically-themed children's book followed by activities and crafts, this free program helps to engage youngsters ages 5-10 in American history and bring the stories to life. All youth must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited, so please RSVP on our Facebook page or call us at 217-678-8184 to save your spot at the event.

This month our “Third Saturday Storytime at Bryant Cottage” will be focused on Women in History! In honor of Women’s History Month and American Red Cross Month we will be reading Brave Clara Barton by Frank Murphy, which tells the story of Clara Barton the founder of the American Red Cross, and Before she was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome, which tells the story of Harriet Tubman who is best known for her role as a conductor on the underground railroad. 

About Bryant Cottage State Historic Site:

Bryant Cottage State Historic Site preserves and interprets the home of businessman and politician, Francis Bryant, his wife Sarah, and their children. Built in 1856, this Bement, IL cottage is furnished with period appropriate furniture, including pieces owned by the Bryant family. The house museum helps demonstrate what life was like during the settling of this region of Illinois. It focuses on the middle-class life of the Bryant's in the mid-to-late nineteenth century.

The cottage is also important for the role that it played in the Illinois Senate Race of 1858, when Abraham Lincoln challenged Stephen A. Douglas's senate seat. On July 29, 1858, Douglas and Lincoln met in the Bryant's parlor and negotiated the seven joint discussions that would famously become known as the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. These debates drew national interest and helped shape political ideas of the time. They also introduced Lincoln to a national audience, which helped launch his presidential candidacy two years later. 

Bryant Cottage strives to connect visitors and the surrounding community to the important history of the site. Bryant Cottage puts on school programs, presentations to groups, host field trips, and special events throughout the year.

Bryant Cottage was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in September 2017 for its preservation of a hall-and-parlor style home and the historical meeting between Lincoln and Douglas.


  • Occurred Saturday, March 21st, 2020 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am


Bryant Cottage State Historic Site

146 E. Wilson
Bement, IL 61813


Bryant Cottage State Historic Site