Skill level for model-building: Beginner
Platted in 1829, the town of New Salem existed for about twelve years before being abandoned and left to pasture. The Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the log village during the 1930s and 1940s, largely reconstructing twenty-three historically furnished buildings. These include homes, stores, tradesmen's shops, a tavern, school, wool carding mill, and a saw-gristmill, and related log barns and other outbuildings. The Berry-Lincoln Store was probably the first building in the original village and was constructed in 1829. It is remembered as the town's only frame, not log, structure. The building was eventually sold to William Berry and Abraham Lincoln as a store. The enterprise failed, leaving Lincoln heavily in debt. The conscientious manner in which Lincoln worked as a store clerk and his everyday dealings with people led to Lincoln being nicknamed “Honest Abe”.
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Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, location of the Berry-Lincoln Store.
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Tips for construction of cardstock models:
- Print the model pages out in color onto cardstock. Normal weight paper will be too flimsy. Larger, more challenging buildings can take many sheets of cardstock. For example, the Gardner Museum takes 10 sheets; Old Main requires 17; while the Old State Capitol requires a substantial 41 sheets (not for the faint-hearted). Smaller less complex buildings are better for first-time or younger builders. The Thomas Lincoln home and the Berry-Lincoln Store each only require 2 sheets; most of the Main Street buildings take 5 sheets or less of cardstock.
- Although not required, you may wish to print out a second copy (plain paper is fine) as a reference guide. Once you start cutting out your cardstock model pieces you may find it helpful to be able to read all of the notes and arrows on a second, uncut, plain-paper copy.
- Use sharp scissors or a slim, handled, craft-knife when cutting. A metal straight-edge will assist when you cut.
- Although standard white “school” glues will work, some similar “craft” opaque white glues dry more quickly and with less warping. Clear plastic-model glues, rubber cement, or glue sticks don’t work as well.
- When gluing, lightly glue the tabs only, not the receiving surface. Be careful not to use too much glue or the paper may warp or pucker.
- Let the model dry after gluing each piece before attempting the next. You may find that you want to space construction out over more than one day.
- To make the crispest edges, lightly score along the inside of fold lines before folding.
- Glue the roof on last.
- Enjoy Building Your Own Illinois historic building and check back again for additional buildings.