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   Lincoln's New Salem   

15588 History Lane, Petersburg
217/632-4000

Open:
April 1 - October 31, daily, 9 - 5pm;
November 1 - March 31 We-Su, 9 - 5pm.

Hours are subject to change, please call ahead.

 

Lincoln's New Salem preserves the site of New Salem village, where young Abraham Lincoln lived for six formative years, from 1831 to 1837. Platted in 1829, the town existed for about twelve years before being abandoned and left to pasture. The centerpiece of Lincoln's New Salem is the imaginative recreation of the log village. Built in the 1930s and 1940s as a Civilian Conservation Corps program, the village features twenty-three historically furnished buildings, including several homes, stores, and tradesmen's shops, as well as a tavern, school, wool carding mill, and a saw- and gristmill. Scattered throughout the village are log barns and other outbuildings.

The historical village is open during site operating hours, and visitors are free to walk through at their own pace. Signs on the log buildings explain various aspects of the village's history, and on most days, especially during tourist season, interpreters dressed in period clothing may be encountered throughout the village. A museum displays artifacts that once belonged to New Salem residents. A video, Turning Point, telling the story of Lincoln's New Salem years, is screened in the auditorium every half hour. The visitor center and concession areas, as well as many of the log houses, are accessible to persons with disabilities.

At the entrance to the historical village is a visitor center that houses museum exhibits and a 250-seat auditorium. Adjacent to the visitor center is a 500 seat outdoor theater. "Theatre in the Park" presents Abraham!—a dramatic rendering of Lincoln's New Salem years—as well as other historical dramas and concerts every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the months of June, July, and August in the outdoor theater. During the remaining nine months, the "Chautauqua Series" offers plays, concerts, and lectures in the visitor center auditorium.

Also located near the visitor center and village entrance is a fast-food concession and small gift shop. The museum store is located at one end of the village in a stone building erected by the state in the 1920s. The New Salem Lincoln League, a non profit organization made up of interested local citizens, supports New Salem by raising funds through the operation of the Museum Store and gift shop.

While the village is New Salem’s greatest attraction, most of the site's nearly 700 acres are a wooded park with hiking trails, picnic areas, and playground equipment. The campground contains eighty electrified and eighty primitive campsites. Two toilet-shower facilities are located in the campground area.

The historical village is open during site operating hours, and visitors are free to walk through at their own pace. Signs on the log buildings explain various aspects of the village's history, and on most days, especially during tourist season, interpreters dressed in period clothing may be encountered throughout the village. A museum displays artifacts that once belonged to New Salem residents. A video, Turning Point, telling the story of Lincoln's New Salem years, is screened in the auditorium every half hour. The visitor center and concession areas, as well as many of the log houses, are accessible to persons with disabilities.

The site hosts a number of special events. Many programs are supported by the New Salem Lincoln League, which raises funds through the operation of its Museum Store and gift shop.

For more information on the site and its programs visit: www.lincolnsnewsalem.com
Amy Martin, Director

Board of Trustees

Sunny Fischer, Chair
Daniel J. Arnold
Julia Sniderman Bachrach
D. Jeanie Cooke
Melinda Spitzer Johnston
Anthony J. Leone, Jr.
Dr. Shirley J. Portwood

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