Miller-Kelso Residence

Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site

Arguably our nation's greatest president, Abraham Lincoln came from very humble beginnings. Moving to New Salem from his native Kentucky in 1831 Lincoln quickly became involved in the local community. During his time here he served as a clerk in the local store, a volunteer soldier, a rail splitter, river-boatman, postmaster, surveyor, and finally a twice elected member of the Illinois General Assembly which launched his political career. It was here, at New Salem, that Lincoln honed his skills as a public representative. In 1837 he moved to nearby Springfield and the rest is better known history.

New Salem the town was founded in 1828 by two men who located a small grist mill here, near the Sangamon River. Unfortunately, the location just off the river was less than ideal and the town enjoyed a very short lifespan. As you'll read in the album, very few families stayed for more than a few years, and by 1840 the town was abandoned. During the Great Depression the CCC reconstructed 22 of the old structures and moved one original back to the original town site. Due to the fact that the structures are now some 80-years old, the site has a very authentic feel and is extremely well presented. For a Lincoln/Civil War buff like I, Lincoln's New Salem was a must-visit and it didn't disappoint...


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