Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic
Site Hosts Open House Event May 18 to Celebrate 1919 Conveyance of
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[May 14, 2019]
New Salem State Historic Site will host a public open house event
Saturday, May 18, to celebrate the centennial of the state’s
acquisition of New Salem, Abraham Lincoln’s home from 1831-1837.
The event will run from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and will include
all of the site’s log buildings, many of which will be hosted by
interpreters in period clothing. The open house event will provide a
unique opportunity to enter some areas at Lincoln’s New Salem not
often open to the public.
There is no admission fee to the site, but donations are accepted
and appreciated. All donations are used for repair and maintenance
of the historic village.
The site was acquired April 3, 1919 by Governor Frank Lowden when he
signed a bill passed unanimously by the Illinois General Assembly
“to acquire by donation, the title to the land formerly constituting
the site of town of New Salem (the home of Abraham Lincoln
1831-1837) and land contiguous thereto, now the property of the Old
Salem Chautauqua Association, comprising sixty–two (62) acres more
or less…The land so acquired shall be set aside as a State park, to
be known as the ‘Old Salem State Park’ and shall never be devoted to
any other use.”
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The second section of the bill gave six directives to the then Department of
Public Works and Buildings, including “Complete the restoration of, as far as
possible, all buildings which were standing thereon during the time that Abraham
Lincoln resided in the town of New Salem.”
On May 22, 1919, the Department took the first steps in executing its directives
when the Old Salem Chautauqua Association deeded those 62 acres to the State of
Illinois for the consideration of $1.
One hundred years later, Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site is still
thriving, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The site’s
acreage has increased from 62 acres to more than 750 acres.
Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, located just off IL Rt. 97 near
Petersburg, is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. The Museum Store
and Railsplitter Gift Shop, managed by the New Salem Lincoln League, are open
daily. Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site is managed by the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources. Visit
[Illinois Department of Natural