Lincoln's New Salem

 
15588 History Lane
Petersburg, IL
217/632-4000

Open:

May-October, Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
November-April, Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day.

UPDATE: Theatre in the Park season is postponed to 2022.

Camping:

There is camping at this site. On-line reservations for camp sits and shelters can be made through the ExploreMoreIL website and paying by Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

See Campground Map

Lincoln New Salem buildings

 

NOTE ANDROID USERS ONLY: The donation payment processing function in the Illinois History mobile application for Android devices is currently down. Donations are still being processed through the web site at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnrhistoric/Experience/Sites/. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Teachers in Illinois schools (grades prekindergarten through 12) can apply for grant funds to visit this site on a field trip with their students. Click here for the details.


Lincoln's New Salem BuildingsLincoln'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.

Lincoln's New Salem buildingsAlso located near the visitor center and village entrance is a 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. 

Accessibility Information

The following are available for the visitor to the site:

  • All parking lots at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site are paved asphalt and can be slippery when wet or icy.  There are 14 accessible parking spaces in the visitor center parking lot, one located at each of the two shower houses, one at the parking lot near the historic Saw and Grist Mill, and three at the Sangamon Area Picnic Area.  Visitor Center parking lot is approximately 30 feet from nearest sidewalk.  There are five ramps available in the visitor center parking lot.  All other parking lots are located adjacent to sidewalks with no curbs.

  • Lincoln’s New Salem features all sidewalks (outside of the Historic Village) that are concrete and concrete slabs.  In the historic village, the main walkways are sealed stone, rock, and asphalt that are accessible.

  • The back entrance to the main site office to Lincolns’ New Salem has a ramp to the basement.  We also have an elevator located in the visitor center to gain access to the basement from the main entrance.

  • All motorized wheelchairs and scooters are permitted in accessible areas at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site including the two historic buildings that are handicap accessible.

  • Lincoln's New Salem has a boat launch at the Picnic Area off Pritchetville Road.  This boat launch is asphalt.

  • All restrooms at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site are accessible.  Each restroom contains at least one accessible stall.  Restrooms are located inside the Visitor Center, in the historic village, and inside the two shower houses at the campground.  Vault toilets in the picnic areas are both accessible as well.  There is one set of vault toilets located across from the campground adjacent to the group camping area, as well as one set located in the Sangamon Picnic Area.

  • Shower Houses- The shower houses offers accessible shower stalls for both genders.  There are two shower houses located in the front and back of the campground.

  • Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site offers three accessible campsites: site 67(non-electric), site 57 (50-amp), and site 145 (30-amp).  All campsites are asphalt and on even ground.  Sites are available for reservation.  Visit ExploreMoreIL for more details.

  • We currently do not have any outdoor water fountains for service animals.

  • Lincoln’s New Salem Visitor Center parking lot (located at 15588 History Lane in Petersburg, IL) is paved with 14 accessible parking spots.  We have five ramps leading to the main sidewalk (paved with concrete slab) outside of the Visitor Center.  There is no push-button door opener for the entrance to the Visitor Center.  Restrooms and water fountains are wheelchair accessible.  Auditorium is wheelchair accessible.  Ample seating inside Visitor Center via benches.  Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site does have braille informational guides and maps available upon request.  Many of the objects used by our historic interpreters (either inside the Visitor Center or in the historic buildings) can be touched and smelled to give visitors the full experience of life in the 1830s.

  • Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic site contains three wheelchair accessible building in the historic village (the Onstot Cooper Shop, second Lincoln-Berry store, and the Rutledge Tavern). All three have a ramp leading to the entrance of the buildings. All three ramps are quite slippery when wet or icy. The other 20 historic buildings contain at minimum one step leading into the historic structure.

  • All visits at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic site are self-guided tours. Most visitors spend approximately two hours visiting. There are benches placed throughout the historic village to accommodate those who need a break if needed.

  • The distance to the end of the historic village at Lincoln’s New Salem and back to the Visitor Center is approximately one mile in length. Main pathway is a sealed rock aggregate that can be slippery when wet or icy.

For more information on the site and its programs visit: www.lincolnsnewsalem.com