If you think that the Abraham Lincoln
National Railsplitting Contest is nothing much other than brawny men
and strong women wielding sharp tools on rough timbers, think again.
The festival's focus is to provide an experience that transports you
150 years back in time.
It is relaxing
…as the aroma of hickory cooking fires
mingles with happy children's voices, men and women conversing while
going about their pioneer day activities, live music, and craftsman
demonstrations. These settings and much more show you the
industrious simplicity of settlers' lives. You will see, hear,
smell, touch, taste and feel the simple pleasures from a simpler
… watching already regionally titled
strong, agile men and women from all over the Midwest competing in a
variety of wood-splitting events in the 34th Abraham Lincoln
National Railsplitting Contest.
It is fun
…because most demonstrations and events
are personable, hands-on and interactive. Kids can play in directed,
two-day festival has expanded, adding new entertainment and
The Logan County Fairgrounds is more
packed than ever with demonstrations, period displays and activities
that the whole family can enjoy.
There are also handmade arts and
crafts, a flea market and festival concessions to purchase food,
drink and other a variety of other items.
The barn-raising, open trail chuck
wagon, rodeo and bus tours are a few of the added new attractions.
The bus tours are the only added fee
attraction but are a bargain at only $2. Three off-site historical
locations are offered each day. Riders can get on at the festival
site and can get off and stay at any of the three other sites as
long as they like. Then re-board the bus, which loops about every
hour, starting at noon and ending at 5:55 p.m. both Saturday and
Sunday. A handicapped-accessible bus will be on the grounds and is
available for the tours.
Saturday's stops include Postville
Courthouse, Lincoln College Museum and Scully Mansion.
Sunday's stops travel the county to
Middletown, Elkhart and Mount Pulaski.
The festival opens at 9 a.m. Saturday,
and a rodeo beginning at 7 p.m. wraps up the first day.
Sunday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with
the national champion split starting at 3:15 p.m.
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No matter what time you arrive, you
will find numerous activities taking place throughout the
fairgrounds. You might visit one of many settlement homes and see
the quiet daily workings of a homestead. Wait. Correct that
statement. Children, whether frolicking or working on chores, are
Nearby, settlement men are erecting a
full-size, rough-hewn timber barn at a neighbor's. The barn-raising
takes 10 men about two hours each time it's raised.
A large display of tractors, antique
vehicles and steam engines can be found at the northwest corner of
the fairgrounds. The vehicles will mobilize on Sunday for a parade.
The soothing sounds of period music
will drift through the air both Saturday and Sunday. A wide variety
of period music adds charm to the setting. The music will be
performed in tents on the grounds each afternoon.
The 33rd Volunteer Regiment Band will
once again take the main stage at 1 p.m. Sunday. This band goes to
the limit for authenticity, performing all-original music on period
instruments. The military band music is mostly rousing, intended to
lift sagging spirits of the soldiers. The strong 4/4 measures will
set your foot to tapping.
On the outskirts of the settlement, a
chuck wagon has just rolled in off the trail. Its master plies his
cookery skills in the art of beans, beans and the stuff you add to
beans that kept the folks rolling over the rough prairie. You'll
hear fascinating details of trail life from this masterful historian
What's a cooper? The Abraham Lincoln
National Railsplitting Contest and Crafts Festival will not only
have a cooper, but there are hundreds of things you could learn
about this weekend. So if you don't know what a cooper is, you might
just saunter on over to the Logan County Fairgrounds this Saturday
or Sunday to find out.
It is a great, cheap, exciting,
educational family event that's lots of fun.
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$2 at the gate
Kids 12 and under FREE