New Salem today is a sanctuary. That was not the case in Lincoln's time.

When Lincoln walked the lanes of New Salem, it was as a commercial village, perhaps dull by today's standards, but to its residents it was, at least for a few brief years, a bustling frontier community rising up out of the wilderness. There were just about a hundred residents when Lincoln arrived. Yet, it was the largest community he had ever lived in.

Barn Window

See the village as it was in the 1830s. A good visit to New Salem will transport you back through time. Allow yourself to forget the rush of modern life and imagine an era when the biggest entertainment might be watching a group of three young men trying desperately to dislodge a flatboat from the mill dam before all their goods were lost in the river. It was just such a show that brought most of the town to the Sangamon River bank in late April of 1831.