Introducing “Third Saturday Storytime at Bryant Cottage” the first of our new events in 2020.  Each month Bryant Cottage State Historic Site will host a historically themed reading and activity session set on the third Saturday of every month at 10:30 a.m. Each event will feature children’s stories and activities focused on a historical theme and each month will be different, some themes will focus on important historical figures, important events, or life during the 1800’s. This free program helps to engage youngsters ages 5-10 in American history, participants will learn something new about the past and have fun while doing it! 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 space at the event.

Our first “Third Saturday Storytime at Bryant Cottage” will be focused on the Emancipation Proclamation! The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 during the third year of the American Civil War. In order to celebrate this historic document we will be reading Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation by Pat Sherman, which tells the story a young slave and how reading the news of the Emancipation Proclamation changes his life forever, based on the life of Benjamin C. Holmes. 

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, January 18th, 2020 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am


Bryant Cottage State Historic Site

146 E. Wilson
Bement, IL 61813


Bryant Cottage State Historic Site