Retracing Lincoln’s Growing Years in New Salem – a Perfect Family Getaway Destination

There’s nothing more terrific than taking a trip back in time to retrace the steps of a great man and 16th President. New Salem, Illinois, also known as the Land of Lincoln has a ton of fascinating history associated with one of the most influential people in America’s history.  Here we can work in his footsteps from his early twenties to his years as a lawyer, then a politician, and finally the turning point.

Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site is a gorgeously recreated 1830’s village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood. It is the No. 1 Lincoln Destination and the most visited historical attraction in Illinois.

New Salem State Historic Site is situated about 20 miles northwest of Springfield in Petersburg and spans over 700 acres going down the Sangamon River.

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This charming district has about 18 of 23 buildings with their original foundations, made of log woods, and filled with objects, furniture, and decors of the time.

When combined together, it creates a nostalgic effect that simply takes you back in time, making it easy to envision how Lincoln lived and worked. It’s about literally walking in Lincoln’s footsteps.

Even more, during Summer time the locals here volunteer and dress-up in the clothes of the 180s and mimic that high-pitched nasally accent while representing different individuals from the time. Since Lincoln was still a commoner at the time, they wouldn’t focus differently on him but showcase life as it was to showcase, rather than tell the story.

New Salem is also called Lincoln’s Turning Point because it was the place 22-year old Lincoln came to transition into the personality he is known for. He arrived by flatboat, lived and worked here in this village from 1831 to 1837. Lincoln was a shopkeeper, soldier, general store owner, deputy land surveyor, postmaster, and rail-splitter. He also worked at several odd jobs and never shied away from hard work.

As the locals say, Lincoln never owned a home, just like most single men did not at the time and would often take meals with any family in the vicinity. Here he crafted his reputation for hard work and came to be called “Honest Abe” due to his fairness as a land surveyor. It is also in this village that the name Rail-Splitting President came to be. At the time, New Salem was no small farm village, but a thriving commercial one with lots of craftsmen and businessmen, trying to make a new life. Right here, Lincoln began his studies in Law and also his political career as well.

New Salem Historic Site is an amazing place to visit. It’s a perfect place to not only learn about Lincoln’s life and impact but take a peek at America’s 242 years history.  It’s an ideal vacation for the entire family, and there’s a lovely bakery there for all the delicacies you want. 

If visiting New Salem or Springfield, Illinois, or on a Route 66 trip, you are welcome to contact us and visit our Sangamon watches show room. Our Springfield office is only 25 minutes away from New Salem.

Fall Leaves in New Salem

Today Mark and Brian came to New Salem for Sangamon watch‘s photo shoots. Fall colors are fading, and the season is near its end. However, we still managed to get some of the best photos for Sangamon watches. Lincoln’s New Salem village, where young Abraham Lincoln lived for six formative years from 1831 to 1837, is well known in the area. Young Lincoln once operated two Berry-Lincoln General Stores in the village. Our “Lincoln’s River Collection” is much inspired by 21 year old Lincoln who had a great entrepreneurial spirit.

The historical site is about 25 minutes short drive from Springfield Illinois. You can find more information at

To learn more about Sangamon Watch Company, please log on our official website at

Behind the Name – Sangamon Watch Company

Lincoln’s River Collection Limited Edition
Lincoln’s River Collection Silver

Sangamon Watch Company is named after the Sangamon River, which runs from Central Illinois and feeds the Mississippi River. The river’s name derives from a Pottawatomie Native American word that means “where there is plenty to eat.” The river was loved by Abraham Lincoln, whose family settled along the river when he was a young man. This area was home to one of the finest watch makers in the United States – the Illinois Watch Company from 1869 to 1928. At its peak, it had over 1200 employees and produced over 43,000 watch movements each year. It was a pioneer of the time-keeping industry and railroads across the world utilized their technology. Our employees live and work in the long shadow of President Lincoln feeling inspired by our region’s rich history. Our name, Sangamon, is proud to honor this tradition of excellence.

Sangamon River, Illinois
Sangamon Watches

Sangamon Watch Company will be hosting an online pre-sales event for the Lincoln’s River Collection (Limited Edition) next week. If you are an entrepreneur who is interested in purchasing our timepieces or collaborating with us , please contact us today at

Untold Stories at Old Concord

On a recent Sunday my pal Mark Bennett and I made a special field trip to visit Old Concord Cemetery, one of the local historical landmarks, was the first of the early cemeteries in old Sangamon County, Illinois, the area is now within Menard County. The landscape around the cemetery is breathtaking and beautiful! It is said that Abe Lincoln’s first lover Ann Rutledge’s original grave was at Old Concord. Now we see a fairly new stone marker. On one side along with the dates of her birth and death (June 7, 1813-August 25, 1835) it reads, “Where Lincoln Wept.” Ann Rutledge’s father, James, was one of the founders of New Salem, he was also buried here. There are many markers in Lincoln-era. We wonder when more stories and history would unfold for us to learn. This is absolutely a great place to visit for people who are interested in Lincoln’s times.

It is very interesting to find that Dave Bakke wrote a very good report about Old Concord Cemetery and published by the State Journal Register ten years ago, you can read it at

A Walk in Lincoln’s Shoes

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.