The remains of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) and his son William Wallace "Willie" rested in this receiving vault from May 4, 1865 to December 21, 1865. The receiving vault was built following Oak Ridge Cemetery's dedication made in 1860. The vault served as a temporary tomb while burial plans were made or if a grave could not be dug to frozen ground. Most likely it had been used for interments prior to 1865.
On May 4, 1865, nineteen days after his death, the body of President Abraham Lincoln was placed here along with that of his son Willie, who had died at age eleven in the White House on February 20, 1862. The casket bearing his remains was carried to Springfield on the funeral train of the assassinated president.
On December 21, 1865, the two caskets were moved to a temporary vault located about half-way up the hillside to your left. A week earlier the remains of another Lincoln son, Edward "Eddie" Baker (1846-1850), had been transferred to the temporary vault. In 1871 the three were finally interred in the Lincoln Tomb at the top of the hill. According to cemetery records, the receiving vault was used at least twelve times from 1866 to 1873, when its use was discontinued. Conveyed to the State of Illinois in 1846, the vault is today administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as part of the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site.