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“Packed full of history”

Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Lincoln's New Salem is a reproduction of 18th century New Salem, Illinois, where the ex-President once lived as a young man.
Springfield, IL
Level Contributor
68 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Packed full of history”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2012

A great place to go to get a feel for how Lincoln lived before he was famous!

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Thank M0mster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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258 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
85 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“A National Treasure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2012

New Salem is a recreation of a small pioneer village that is essentially identical to when young Abe Lincoln lived there. The log cabins are reproductions, of course, but they are authentic. You can walk through the area and browse through exactly the same village as when Young Abe walked there. They have recreated many of the pioneer skills required to survive there. Tour guides dressed as pioneer women still make bread on an open hearth, weave cloth, spin yarn, and preserve some invaluable traditions and history! There's a 19th century blacksmith there, also an old mill powered by oxen that can grind wheat into flour. There's also a fine gift shop, and lots of information at every stop along the way. This is history come alive, an early 19th century pioneer village. The true love of young Abraham Lincoln's life was Ann Rutledge, the daughter of the New Salem Postmaster. He was very much in love with this woman, but as fate would have it, she died young. (I think it was Cholera or something like that, but I can't remember right now.) Anyway, Ann is still buried there at New Salem. For a long time after she died, Abe personally tended to her grave every single day. When it rained, he would stand over the grave with an umbrella, because he didn't want Ann to have to suffer rain falling on her grave. One can only imagine the extreme torment and pain Lincoln must have felt at her loss! For many years, the GM&O railroad between Chicago and St. Louis had a pair of passenger trains named the Abraham Lincoln, and the Ann Rutledge. Legend has it that in this way, Abe and Ann could still pass each other every day and salute each other as they passed. When Amtrak took over passenger operations in 1973, Amtrak dropped those train names, and I always felt Illinois lost some terribly important history when they did that. Anyway, come to New Salem and see where it all started out. New Salem is very well worth the visit. About 30 minutes northwest of Springfield on Route 97..Bring your camera!

Helpful?
1 Thank GaryH0522
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Lincoln's early years.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2012

If you like history, you will love this restored village.

Helpful?
Thank Kathy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Delightful day trip for the whole family”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2012

Beautiful little day trip into the the past. A fun experience anytime, but if you can go when they have volunteers dressed in period costume doing period gardening, candle making, blacksmithing, etc, it is history come to life. Spring and fall scenery are spectacular! They also have a lovely gift shop and snack bar. Great for kids and adults alike, wheelchair accessible, AND it's dog friendly! Don't forget your camera!

Helpful?
Thank Babette56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“old tymes”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2012

Left unchanged. You could literally see how life was at that time.

Helpful?
Thank K B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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