Annual Candlelight Walk at Lincoln’s New Salem October 6-7

The annual Candlelight Walk at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site will be held on Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7, from 7-9 p.m. each night. This historic site features a reconstruction of the village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood, and the Candlelight Walk offers the only opportunity to see the village at night. 

The grounds at New Salem include a recreated 1830s village of log buildings, and during the Candlelight Walk visitors will find a place of warm campfires, flickering candles, and swirling glow sticks. There will be live music each night, and staff and volunteers will be dressed in clothing of the 1830s era. Interpreters will also be on site talking about 19th century life in Illinois inside the log homes and shops. Seasonal favorites such as gingerbread cookies and cider will be served.

New Salem is located in Menard County just outside of Petersburg, about 20 miles northwest of Springfield. Lincoln spent six years in New Salem, engaging in a variety of activities. He clerked in a store, spit rails, enlisted in the Black Hawk War, and served as postmaster and deputy surveyor. Lincoln was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1834 and 1836. 

The grounds at New Salem include 12 log houses, the Rutledge Tavern, 10 workshops, stores, mills, and a school where church services were held. The furnishings were actually used by the people of New Salem during Lincoln’s time and were assembled and donated by the Old Salem Lincoln League. The collection includes 19th century articles such as wheat cradles, candle molds, cord beds, flax hackles, wood cards, dough and cornmeal chests, and early American pewter. Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site – Tour (

“Come see history in real life during the Candlelight Walk,” stated Rep. Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville). “Seeing the New Salem village at night is a truly unique and one-of-a-kind experience. This is a fun and family-friendly event to be enjoyed by all ages.”

“New Salem is a true gem that attracts visitors from all over the state and country,” stated Rep. Mike Coffey (R-Springfield). “These two nights offer an incredible look back into history and what life was like in the early 19th century.”

Embracing Nature is a key element to quality of life: