Lincoln's New Salem

Henry Onstot Residence
Behind the Onstot Residence and Shop
Onstot, a native of Kentucky, was the community cooper. He built his first home and shop in the eastern portion of the town upon his arrive at New Salem about 1830. From 1833 to 1835 the Onstots lived at the tavern, which they operated after the Rutledges moved to Sandridge. Onstot built a home on the village's west end in 1835. He lived there until 1840, when he moved to Petersburg and re-erected his home and cooper shop on Main Street
Onstot Cooper Shop
Onstot Cooper Shop, Inside   View 1   View 2
The cooper was a very important part of the village economy. Besides making buckets and tubs for domestic use, he also made barrels. Almost all products were shipped in barrels at that time--wet barrels for transporting whiskey or meat products in brine and dry barrels for flour. Onstot charged from 40¢ for a flour barrel to $1 for a pork barrel. In 1922 this building was located in Petersburg and returned to the site. This shop is the only original building left from New Salem.
Trent Brothers Residence, located behind Onstot's
On August 27, 1832, Alexander Trent bought a lot where he and his brother Martin built a house for their families. Alex was a corporal in Lincoln's company during the black hawk War. In the autumn of 1832, he bought William Clary's store and was issued a tavern license that December. On June 6, 1833, Alex was issued a license to operate the New Salem Ferry. The rates, fixed by law, were the same as William Clary had charged. Trent renewed his license once on March 6, 1834, but then sold the enterprise to Jacob and Hardin Bale.
Joshua Miller's Blacksmith ShopView 2
Joshua Miller, the village and community blacksmith, carried on a flourishing business. He shod horses, furnished iron parts for wagons and farming implements, and did the general metal work for the community. The ring of his anvil was a familiar sound in New Salem and was heard for many hours each day. This reconstruction was made with the assistance of the Museum of Science and Industry of Chicago. The tool, forge, and hand bellows have all seen many years of service and are the type originally used by Miller.
Joshua Miller & John (Jack) H. Kelso Residence
Miller and his brother-in-law Jack Kelso came with their families to New Salem. On November 17, 1832 Miller purchased two lots from John Camron for $25, and lived here with his wife Nancy and their children, Caleb and Levicy. His home was headquarters for Baptist preachers who came to the neighborhood.
Kelso and his wife lived with the Millers. Kelso and Miller had married the Turner sisters before coming to New Salem from Kentucky. Due to their relationship and family origins, a choice of this "dog trot" style of home would have been understandable. The open area was used for eating or as a sitting area away from the heat. Kelso was a hunter, fisherman, and "jack of all trades" He was able to supply all the money he needed by doing odd jobs, in addition to trapping and foraging.
Isaac Gulihur Residence     Outside Root Cellar
Isaac Gulihur was born in Hopkinsville, kentucky, on June 23, 1815. While living at New Salem he married Isaac Burner's daughter, Elizabeth, built a residence, and had one son. Gulihur served with Lincoln during the Black Hawk War. Following his discharge, he ran for coroner in the election of August 11, 1832, and lost. The Gulihurs left New Salem in late 1834 and moved to Knox County, Illinois, where they remained the rest of their lives. The property had two separate cellars; the north cellar had an outside entrance. There was also a root cellar and a well.
Martin Waddell Residence
Waddell and his family arrived at New Salem and built their residence in 1832. Waddell was a hatter who made rabbit fur hats for 50¢, coonskin hats for $2, and wool felt hats. The kettle in front of this residence was used by Martin Waddell to make felt. Waddell had a wife, a son, and several daughters to support.
Considering the number of children he had, one room might have served as both a shop and a bedroom. The Waddell family left New salem by 1838.
Isaac Burner
Interesting item, used to leach the lye from ashes
Burner was born in Kentucky on September 24, 1784. Isaac, his wife Susan, and his family moved in October 1832 to New Salem, where he bought two lots for $10 and erected a residence. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Isaac Gulihur, whose home site is to the west of here. Isaac's son, Daniel Green Burner, for a while worked at the Second Berry-Lincoln Store. The Burner family left New Salem in 1835 when they moved to the country about six miles south of Knoxville, Illinois. A common feature of early log homes was the sleeping loft, like the one seen in this home.
1st Barry-Lincoln Store     Plaque
James and Rowan Herndon had arrived at New Salem by the spring of 1831. They built a store and opened in that fall. In the summer of 1832, James sold his interest in the store to William Berry. Rowan became dissatisfied with Berry and later that same years sold his interest to Lincoln for a promissory note. Stores were popular gathering places. Not only was merchandise bought, but stories were swapped and anything from weather to politics discussed. When a larger store and better stock of goods became available across the street, Berry and Lincoln recognized its value and moved there in Mid-January 1833.
Hill's Carding Mill and Wool House,  View 2  Plaque
Cotton Carder  View 2  View 3
There are 2 carding machines, back to back
On April 24, 1835, Samuel Hill advertised in the Sangamo Journal that he would commence operation of his carding mill on May 1. "The machines are nearly new and in first rate order, and I do not hesitate to say, the best work will be done. Just bring your wool in good order and there will be no mistake." Hardin Bale ran the mill for Hill and bought it in 1837. Bale later moved it to Petersburg. The double carder is typical of the period. The mill was run by two oxen treading the inclined wheel. Patrons could pay in cash, or a toll was taken
Mill was run by 2 oxen treading the inclined wheel.
View 1   View 2   Wheel Shaft
Dr. Francis Regnier Office
It was here in late 1831 that Henry Sinco erected a residence. On Oct. 10, 1832 Dr. Francis Regnier purchased the property from Sinco and set up his practice. Regnier came to Illinois from Marietta, Ohio, where at age 20 he was licensed to practice medicine and surgery on May 27, 1827. In August 1834, Dr. Regnier married Sophia Ann Goldsmith and moved to nearby Clary's Grove. He apparently kept the building until the late 1830's for use as an office. Regnier later moved to Petersburg, where he died in 1859.
Melting Tallow outside for making Candles
Samuel Hill Residence  Hill's enclosed Well
Barn Behind Samuel Hill's Residence
Hill was born in New Jersey in 1800 and migrated to Cincinnati, Ohio, at age 20. He then came to New Salem in 1829 where he started a store in partnership with John McNamar, Hill was a small slender man with an irascible temperament but usually gallant to the ladies. After the dissolution of his partnership in 1832, Hill expanded his investments by erecting a carding mill in the spring of 1835. That July, Hill married Parthena Nance from nearby Farmer's point. They had one child, John, born at New Salem in September 1839. In 1837 Hill sold his carding mill to Hardin Bale and by 1840 had moved his family and store to Petersburg.
Lunkins-Ferguson Residence
Peter Lukins, a former Kentuckian and shoemaker who made and repaired a variety of  leather goods., built a home and shop in 1831. In 1832 Lukins and George Warburton left New Salem to develop nearby Petersburg, in which they had invested.
Peter Lukins won the card game with Warburton to determine the mane of Petersburg, but soon sold his interest to John Taylor. Alexander Ferguson moved into Lukins's house and took up leather work in 1832. He was a man of little education and not the most skilled leather worker. Ferguson moved from New Salem in 1840 when he bought a nearby farm from Samuel Hill.
Hill-McNeil (McNamar) Store
Samuel Hill constructed a store building on this lot which was purchased in January 1832. The partnership with John McNamar, who took the alias "McNeil" to disguise his identity until he could make a fortune and bring his family to Illinois, was dissolved eight months later. Mail deliveries were probably make here until May 7, 1833, when Abraham Lincoln, who operated a store next door, was named postmaster. Hill moved in 1839 to Petersburg, where he continued his successful business ventures.
2nd Berry-Lincoln Store
John McNamar, it is believed, had a building—probably the village's first—constructed here in 1829. It is remembered as the town's only frame structure. McNamar and Samuel Hill, who became postmaster on December 25, 1829, operated a store here until 1831. They sold it to Henry Sinco, who rented the store to the Chrisman brothers. William Greene later bought the building and rented it to Reuben Radford. Greene eventually purchased Radford's goods and sold them to William Berry and Abraham Lincoln, whose shop here 'winked out." Later, John McNamar and silent partner Dr. John Allen operated a store here until the two moved the business to Petersburg in 1837.
New Salem (Rutledge) Tavern
Inside Right Half of Tavern  View 1  View 2
Barn behind the Tavern
James Rutledge, a  native South Carolinian who co-founded New Salem with his nephew John Camron, erected a building as a residence in 1828. Once New Salem began to prosper, he converted it to an inn or tavern where travelers could enjoy a meal and bed. By law, tavern rates were fixed at 37-½¢ per day for a meal and overnight stay. The Rutledge family left New Salem in early 1833. Nelson Alley purchased the tavern and rented it to Henry Onstot and later Michael Keltner. In 1837 Alley sold it to Jacob Bale, who by this time operated both the carding mill and the saw and grist mill. The Bales used it as a residence for many years. By 1880 it had decayed to ruin.
John Rowan Herndon Residence  Plaque
Herndon had married Mentor Graham's sister, Elizabeth, in Kentucky in 1827. By the spring of 1831, they were living at New Salem, where Rowan and his brother James build a log residence and later in the fall built a store. In the summer of 1832, James sold his half-interest in the store to William Berry and moved away. Rowan, not liking Berry for a partner, sold his interest to Abraham Lincoln. On January 18, 1833, Rowan accidentally shot and killed his wife. Soon afterward he moved to Island Grove Township in Sangamon County.
Denton Offutt Store
Offutt first employed Abraham Lincoln in the spring of 1831 to take his goods by flatboat from Springfield to New Orleans. Due to a delay in crossing the milldam, Offutt and Lincoln first visited New Salem. Offutt decided to open a store here, and he employed Lincoln to run it. It was here that Lincoln received his first exposure to the business of merchandising. Within a year, Offutt's enterprises had failed. He left New Salem for Kentucky to help his brother raise horses.
William Clary's Store View Left  Right  Plaque
Clary's store was probably one of the earlier structures built at New Salem. It catered to those waiting for products from the mill and to the "Clary's Grove Boys." The store sold liquor as its main stock in trade, selling brandy, gin, wine, rum and whiskey for 12¢ to 25¢ per half pint. Clary also established a ferry, charging from 3¢
per head of cattle to 50¢ for a team and wagon. Clary, a Southerner, left for Texas by 1833, leaving the store to Alex Trent in December 1832 and the ferry to James Richardson in March 1831. Since the rougher element frequented this part of town, sports like gander pulls, cock fights and wrestling were held here.
New Salem Saw and Grist Mill         Plaque
In 1828 John M. Camron purchased the property where New Salem was later to be laid out. In that same year Camron and his uncle, James Rutledge, petitioned the state legislature for, and received, permission to dam the Sangamon River for the purpose of powering the mill. By the next year the mill was running. On September 29, 1832, Camron offered the mill for sale. Jacob Bale bought it and operated it with his son Hardin until 1844, when Jacob died. It was then bought by Jacob's brother Abraham and operated until 1853, when the mill war torn down and replaced with another. In 1940 the Civilian Conservation Corps reconstructed the Rutledge-Camron Saw and Grist Mill. By 1940 the Sangamon River had change course, so it was necessary to power the mill from a mill pond.
Saw Mill   View 1   View 2
Right Side of Mill, including Mill Shaft and Water Sluice View 1   View 2    View 3

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