Carl Sandburg State Historic Site Sets Visitor Hours

Martha Jane Downey
Carl Sandburg State Historic Site Sets Visitor Hours
GALESBURG, Ill. – The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg beginning July 18 will be open to visitors each Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and each Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through October. During the months of November through March, the Sandburg site’s closing time each Thursday through Sunday will be one hour earlier at 4:00 p.m. 

Famed poet Carl Sandburg was born on Jan. 6, 1878 in the three-room cottage that is part of the historic site. The Sandburg family, including his parents August and Clara, older sister Mary and Carl lived there for just over a year after Carl’s birth, then moved to a house on South Street in Galesburg. In later years, the Sandburg family lived in two different houses on Berrien Street in Galesburg.

Following his Galesburg years, Sandburg went on to spend time as a political organizer, newspaper reporter, writer and poet. In addition to poetry, he wrote an expansive biography of Abraham Lincoln.  Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories were American fairy tales for children. Sandburg was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes – two in poetry and one for his Lincoln biography.

Visitors to the Sandburg state historic site also will find Remembrance Rock, where the ashes of Carl Sandburg and his wife, Lillian, are buried. Surrounding Remembrance Rock is Quotation Walk, a winding path of stepping stones featuring short quotes from the Prairie Poet’s work.

The site’s visitors center has an orientation video providing an overview of Sandburg’s life.  There also are exhibits about his time in Galesburg and his life beyond the city of his birth. The historic site’s barn is the venue for the popular Sandburg Songbag concert series and other programs.

The Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association has long been active in keeping Sandburg’s legacy alive. The organization hosts the monthly Sandburg Songbag concerts each March through November, and the annual Penny Parade in April. The association also provides programs in area schools about Sandburg. This year’s program was about the American Songbag, a book with a remarkable collection of American folk songs that Sandburg documented.   

The association also maintains a bookstore at the site featuring books written by and about Sandburg, Sandburg recordings, mugs, bookmarks, and other items of local historical interest.  The University of Illinois Extension Knox County Master Gardeners also have been active in maintaining the Sandburg site’s gardens and grounds.

The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site, managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is located at 313 East Third Street in Galesburg. For more information, visit

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