We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Well worth going out of your way to see.”

Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Mounds View, Minnesota
Level Contributor
306 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
“Well worth going out of your way to see.”
Reviewed November 15, 2010

There are 20+ buildings to visit in Lincoln's New Salem. Although the buildings are recreations from historical records, etc. rather than original buildings, this attraction is well worth seeing. The film in the visitors center is a must see in order to understand the history behind the village. Staff was well informed and interesting to listen to. Some staff were dressed in period costumes doing chores from that period.

Thank MNroadtrippers66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

263 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Where Abraham Lincoln began his journey to the White House”
Reviewed November 10, 2010

New Salem is the reconstruction of the village where Lincoln spent most of his twenties. A couple of the buildings are still on their original site, some have been found and relocated back to New Salem while other have been reconstructed often upon their original foundations. It is in New Salem that Lincoln began his political career. Here he held the appointment of Post Master as well as serving four terms as Representative to the Illinois Legislator. Walking through the village and into the various building you can enjoy all the attention to the details that allow you to absorb the atmosphere that once surrounded Lincoln. Besides the village there is a museum housing many artifacts from the era. If you want to continue to follow Lincoln's journey Springfield is only 20 mile drive from New Salem where his journey culminates in his election to President 150 years ago this month.

1 Thank Nunda1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
97 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Amazing re-creation of village where LIncoln spent his 20s.”
Reviewed August 29, 2010

The presenters (in period dress) were excellent & interesting to both us and our 7 and 9 yo boys.

Thank Ldeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pineville, Missouri
Level Contributor
443 reviews
176 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“A real piece of Americana....takes you back to the 30's 1830's that is.”
Reviewed August 14, 2010

This is the small village that molded Young Abe into the man who would become President someday. A real interesting look at life removed from most conveniences of the day, at how people lived, loved, ate and tried to eke out a living from a harsh environment. The town didn't last very long and this recreation has far outlasted the original.

Thank recorder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“New Salem - where you Really understand how Lincoln grew as a leader”
Reviewed October 8, 2009

If you go to Springfield to learn more about President Lincoln, I strongly recommend driving out to New Salem (about 25 minutes from Springfield). It felt like the missing link between Lincoln's log cabin boyhood, and his rise to a prominent attorney in sophisticated Springfield. New Salem was a small settlement, much rougher than Springfield, but certainly more worldly than a lone cabin in the woods. This is where Lincoln was first accepted into a larger community and grew as a leader.

We went on a cold grey March day. The re-enactors in the small village pretend to be the same people that existed in Lincoln's time. A woman in Anne Rutledge's house (playing Anne's mother) cooked a cake and a stew, just as they did back then. (We the public are not allowed to eat the food, darn! But the re-enactors do). She had a hearty discussion with us as to why Anne was certainly not Lincoln's lady-love, since her daughter was engaged to another man at the time and was Not that type of girl! So this re-enactor was steeped in the history of Lincoln's time and played an actual character to the best of her knowledge & interpretation, which was extra fun. Another woman had a large fire going in the hearth, and showed us how to make brooms. There is a blacksmith house (which I believe is the one house in the village with its original wood, the actual old building), a mill with a water wheel, and the store that Lincoln partnered in and failed. There is also a small museum with a film, to orient you before you walk into the village.

Would be really fun for kids, too. Highly recommend for families, and persons interested in the personal history and rise of Abraham Lincoln before his presidency. Also just interesting to see how American pioneers lived in a small village in the mid-1800's.

1 Thank Queen1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site also viewed


Been to Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing