Carl Sandburg State Historic Site is the birthplace of Carl Sandburg
(1878-1967), a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Lincoln biographer,
a children’s author and folk song collector. Son of a Swedish
immigrant who worked as a blacksmith’s assistant at the nearby
CB&Q railroad shops, Sandburg attended local primary schools
and Galesburg’s Lombard College. His first books of poetry
were published in Galesburg.
The small frame home, architecturally significant as a “workingman’s
cottage,” contains three rooms—parlor, bedroom, and
kitchen. Carl Sandburg was born here January 6, 1878. Several original
family items are on display, along with other simple, utilitarian
furnishings typical of the era.
Behind the cottage is a tranquil garden where the ashes of Sandburg
and his wife lie beneath a red granite boulder, “Remembrance
Rock,” the title of his only novel. Benches and garden plantings
contribute to the quiet solitude of the area. A series of flagstones
inscribed with quotations from Sandburg’s writings is known
as “Quotation Walk.”
on the site is a two-story Greek Revival frame house built in 1858.
The house currently serves as the site visitor center. On the main
floor are a small video theater, the site office, a museum shop,
public restroom, and small exhibit gallery.
Guided tours of the cottage are conducted upon request. In the
visitor center, guests may tour the exhibit gallery, shop at the
museum store, and view a video on Sandburg that was produced for
the television series “Legends from the Land of Lincoln.”
Visitors may view the garden behind the cottage, and a free brochure
is available that identifies the Sandburg quotations displayed along
“Quotation Walk.” The visitor center’s first floor
and the birthplace cottage are accessible to persons with disabilities.
The site hosts special events including “Songbag Folk Concerts”
and the “Sandburg Days Festival” in April. The Carl
Sandburg Historic Site Association supports site programs.