No Lincoln artifacts auction, foundation extends $9M debt

SPRINGFIELD- Hundreds of artifacts belonging to Abraham Lincoln and his family will remain in Illinois’ hands with the refinancing of a loan used to buy them. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation announced Wednesday that it had refinanced the 2012 loan it used to purchase 1,500 items that were part of the Louise Taper collection. The foundation voted last year to seek an auction house to prepare selling some of the items in the collection, which includes a stovepipe hat purportedly belonging to Lincoln, if it couldn’t pay off the $9.2 million remaining on the loan by this fall when the note came due. But the foundation said it negotiated a three-year extension with Lake Forest Bank and Trust at a lower interest rate than the previous loan.