Historical Attractions

Widely recognized as one of the greatest and most influential U.S. presidents, Abraham Lincoln looms large in shaping many of the most important events in American history…and he happened to spend seven formative years just down the street! Come visit the place that helped him become the man who was to have such a profound effect on our nation.

Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site and Park
Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site is a restoration of the village where Abraham Lincoln lived during the 1830’s. Touch history and feel the emotion of yesterday with exhibits and reenactments from the 19th century. Experience the environment where Lincoln transformed himself from a self-admitted “aimless piece of driftwood” into a merchant, surveyor, postmaster, and captain of the local militia.

Lincoln’s New Salem is a professionally managed State Park and historic site with many activities. It includes a visitor’s center, museum, gift shops, a restaurant, and an outdoor theatre.   It offers the perfect educational and fun vacation activity the whole family will enjoy. Don’t miss it!

New Salem Theatre in the Park
This popular live outdoor theatre has several presentations throughout much of the year.  For a schedule and description of coming attractions.  Go directly to their website at www.theatreinthepark.net

Ann Rutledge Gravesite
Born in January 1813, she was said to be Abraham Lincoln’s first love. Her death in 1835 at the age of 22 is claimed to be the cause of Lincoln’s first known case of severe depression. Although the relationship is not 100% proven, the actual New Salem residents believed it to be a very real romance. The gravesite in Oakland Cemetery is less than a mile from the Lodge.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
The state of the art Museum and Presidential Library in Springfield are the second most visited sites in the area (second only to New Salem). They are designed as a research library and a research facility that enlightens visitors to the history surrounding the time Lincoln lived.  No visit is complete without a visit to Lincoln’s Home, his Tomb, and the old State Capitol where he argued many cased before the Illinois Supreme Court. . Visit the official website here.

Looking for More on Lincoln?
The “Looking for Lincoln” series is dedicated to promoting the many sites and attractions that evoke Abraham Lincoln’s presence in Central Illinois. There has been an addition to the Looking for Lincoln series in downtown Petersburg. You can see this added text rail depicting the site where Abraham Lincoln began his survey of our town.  To find out more about these communities and their ties to our 16th President, visit their website “Looking for Lincoln” here.


Edgar Lee Masters Home
This American poet is most famous for” Spoon River Anthology”, a collection of free-form poems. His boyhood home in Petersburg is located off the Square, just 5 blocks from the Lodge.

Birthplace of the American Quarterhouse
Peter McCue is recognized as the father of the American Quarter Horse. Sired in Menard County, his combination of speed, power and endurance made him very popular. Some of his records still stand today, nearly 100 years later. A magnificent stud, he went on to produce several champions. His memorial in Menard County attracts many visitors.

Menard County Historical Society

Nature Lodge in Petersburg, Illinois

Menard County Event Calendar

Always check www.VisitMenardCounty.com to keep up to date on all the local parks, restaurants, breweries, wineries, shopping and more!