Skill level for model-building: Beginner
Platted in 1829, the town of New Salem existed for about
twelve years before being abandoned and left to pasture. The
Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the log village during
the 1930s and 1940s, largely reconstructing twenty-three historically
furnished buildings. These include homes, stores, tradesmen's
shops, a tavern, school, wool carding mill, and a saw-gristmill,
and related log barns and other outbuildings. The Berry-Lincoln
Store was probably the first building in the original village
and was constructed in 1829. It is remembered as the town's
only frame, not log, structure. The building was eventually
sold to William Berry and Abraham Lincoln as a store.
The enterprise failed, leaving Lincoln heavily in debt. The
conscientious manner in which Lincoln worked as a store clerk
and his everyday dealings with people led to Lincoln being
nicknamed “Honest Abe”.
Click to learn more about Lincoln’s
New Salem State Historic Site, location of the Berry-Lincoln
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Tips for construction of
1) Print the model pages out in color onto cardstock. Normal weight
paper will be too flimsy. Larger, more challenging buildings can
take many sheets of cardstock. For example, the Gardner Museum takes
10 sheets; Old Main requires 17; while the Old State Capitol requires
a substantial 41 sheets (not for the faint-hearted). Smaller less
complex buildings are better for first-time or younger builders.
The Thomas Lincoln home and the Berry-Lincoln Store each only require
2 sheets; most of the Main Street buildings take 5 sheets or less
2) Although not required, you may wish to print out a second copy
(plain paper is fine) as a reference guide. Once you start cutting
out your cardstock model pieces you may find it helpful to be able
to read all of the notes and arrows on a second, uncut, plain-paper
3) Use sharp scissors or a slim, handled, craft-knife when cutting.
A metal straight-edge will assist when you cut.
4) Although standard white “school” glues will work,
some similar “craft” opaque white glues dry more quickly
and with less warping. Clear plastic-model glues, rubber cement,
or glue sticks don’t work as well.
5) When gluing, lightly glue the tabs only, not the receiving surface.
Be careful not to use too much glue or the paper may warp or pucker.
6) Let the model dry after gluing each piece before attempting the
next. You may find that you want to space construction out over
more than one day.
7) To make the crispest edges, lightly score along the inside of
fold lines before folding.
8) Glue the roof on last.
9) Enjoy Building Your Own Illinois historic building and check
back again for additional buildings.