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Lincoln’s New Salem celebrates 100 years as state park

PETERSBURG, Ill. – The central Illinois settlement where Abraham Lincoln came of age and began his public life is celebrating its centennial as a state park.

The donation of land near present-day Petersburg that became Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site will be feted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Interpreters will staff the site’s re-created log buildings and areas typically off-limits to the public will be open.

Lincoln lived in New Salem from 1831 to 1837. He failed as a store owner, became a surveyor and launched his political career as a state legislator.

The state accepted 62 acres (25 hectares) on May 19, 1919 from the Old Salem Chautauqua Association for $1. It now covers 750 acres (304 hectares).

Petersburg is 205 miles (330 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

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