Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site is located 15 mi northwest of Springfield, and approximately 3 mi south of Petersburg. It is a reconstruction of the former village of New Salem where Abraham Lincoln lived from 1831 to 1837. 1837. While in his twenties, Lincoln made his living in the village as a boatman, soldier in the Black Hawk War, general store owner, postmaster, surveyor, and rail splitter, and was first elected to the Illinois General Assembly. Come to visit the historic site, it is a perfect getaway for weekends.