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Lincoln's New Salem

Abraham Lincoln spent 6 years of his young adulthood in New Salem, which is about 20 miles from Springfield, Illinois. This is where he studied to become a lawyer and where he supposedly fell in love with Ann Rutledge, who sadly passed away at the age of 22.

I happened upon New Salem on July 8, 2006, on what was a "Descendant's Reunion". This meant that descendants of people who had lived in the town between 1828-1840 were wandering the area wearing badges stating the surnames of their ancestors. This was the first time this had ever been done and it marked the 175th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's arrival in town. It certainly made for an interesting afternoon.

To see Trent, Rutledge, Regnier, Onstot.... descendants excitingly experiencing the town brought the place to life even more. Did these folks look like their ancestors, I wondered?

The cooper(barrelmaker),Henry Onstot, took down and re-erected his shop, when his family moved to nearby Petersburg. It remained on Petersburg's Main Street until 1922, when it was returned to New Salem. This is the only original building on the site today. It was common for people to take their buildings with them when they moved. This is why there is only one original today.

There were people in traditional garb explaining the occupants of each building as you wandered through. They were extremely knowledgable and seemed to be meticulous in trying to find out any new fact. The Descendant's Reunion gave them new family details that they would be able to pass on to people coming there in future years.

You can go on a virtual tour of this state historical park by going to: http://www.lincolnsnewsalem.com/

Photos taken on July 8, 2006
Ms Raff's History Classroom - http://home.roadrunner.com/~raff/
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Lincoln as Deputy Surveryer - 1833-1837
Lincoln as Deputy Surveryer - 1833-1837
This is the serene road you walk down as you enter New Salem Village.
This is the serene road you walk down as you enter New Salem Village.
This is Henry Onstot's cooper shop - the only original building from early New Salem.  His home is the first building you see.
This is Henry Onstot's cooper shop - the only original building from early New Salem. His home is the first building you see.
Although you can't see the barrels, this is the interior of the Onstot Cooper Shop.
Although you can't see the barrels, this is the interior of the Onstot Cooper Shop.
It was nice seeing young people in period costumes explaining games to other young people.
It was nice seeing young people in period costumes explaining games to other young people.
Trying to use the hoop...
Trying to use the hoop...
This was the home of Isaac Gulihur.  He moved to New Salem where he married.  He ran for coroner, but lost the election.
This was the home of Isaac Gulihur. He moved to New Salem where he married. He ran for coroner, but lost the election.
It was not as easy to saw wood in the good old days...
It was not as easy to saw wood in the good old days...
Their arms get a good work out...
Their arms get a good work out...
Showing off the dyed wool...
Showing off the dyed wool...
This is a descendant reunion photo taken at the Trent home, I believe, but am not certain.
This is a descendant reunion photo taken at the Trent home, I believe, but am not certain.
Inside the school house were a few benches.
Inside the school house were a few benches.
The teacher would be at this front table.
The teacher would be at this front table.
Notice  this is a bench and writing surface just under a window -probably there because of the natural light.
Notice this is a bench and writing surface just under a window -probably there because of the natural light.
This is what an outhouse of the time would look like.
This is what an outhouse of the time would look like.
This outhouse has room for 2.  The  Lincoln home outhouse in Springfield has room for 3!.
This outhouse has room for 2. The Lincoln home outhouse in Springfield has room for 3!.
I am not certain whose home this would be, but notice that a room is used for more than one purpose.
I am not certain whose home this would be, but notice that a room is used for more than one purpose.
They had trundle beds back in the early 1800s.  See the bed under the main one?  It can be pulled out.
They had trundle beds back in the early 1800s. See the bed under the main one? It can be pulled out.
Samuel Hill's Carding Mill & Wool House
Samuel Hill's Carding Mill & Wool House
1st Berry-Lincoln Store - originally purchased from the Herndon Brothers
1st Berry-Lincoln Store - originally purchased from the Herndon Brothers
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